“Social Psychological Principals in Mean Girls”
The movie Mean Girls shows examples of many social-psychological principals. Three of the major social-psychological principals depicted in Mean Girls are prejudice, discrimination, and conformity. According to Social Psychology and Human Nature textbook, written by Baumeister and Bushman, prejudice is a negative feeling toward an individual bases solely on his or her membership in a particular group. Discrimination is unequal treatment of different people based on the groups or categories to which they belong. Lastly, conformity is defined as getting along with the crowd.
In the movie, the main character Cady, who has been homeschooled her whole life, has become forced to learn the social norms of high school. At the beginning of the movie Cady, meets two friends, Damian and Janis. These two students are seen as the outcast crowd or out-group, but Cady has no idea. As they enter the cafeteria Janis says, “Here’s a map of the North Shore…where you sit in the cafeteria is crucial”, leaving Cady anxious when she is trying to find a seat at lunch. As she is walking by, “the plastics” or the in-group call her over to sit down. The plastics represent what everyone wants to be; popular, rich, and pretty. Unfortunately, the plastics are also one of the meanest cliques in school.
As Cady gets to know the plastics she begins to identify with different types of conformity. At first Cady tells her real friends that she is befriending the plastics to get to know them in order to get revenge on them for hurting her friend Janice. Cady is conforming through one of the conformity processes known as compliance. Compliance deals with an individual conforms to the public and still sticks to his or her own beliefs. Cady is conforming in the way she looks acts and dresses to fit in with the plastics but her true loyalty still genuinely lies with Damian and Janice. As the movie continues, Cady strays away from her...
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