12 angry men paper

Topics: Sociology, 12 Angry Men, Jury Pages: 7 (2273 words) Published: October 16, 2014
“If there’s a reasonable doubt in your minds as to the guilt of the accused, a reasonable doubt, then you must bring me a verdict of not guilty…however you decide, your verdict must be unanimous.” The movie, The Twelve Angry Men, was a fascinating movie. Surprisingly, it was very interesting and engaging even though it was in black and white and made in 1950. This movie was a perfect demonstration of how individuals who meet in a goal orientated group fulfill roles, create norms, have status, acquire power, and become leaders, and how a group decides on a unanimous outcome. Each of the twelve jury members fulfilled a role at some point within the movie. They fulfilled task roles, maintenance roles, and self-centered roles. They had to learn to work together despite the roles they played to come to a unanimous decision. The Forman (Juror #1) fulfilled one group maintenance role (tension reliever) and two group task roles (procedural technician and initiator). As a tension reliever, the Forman told Cobb to calm down when Cobb started on his rant. He often tried to relieve tension in situations with conflict. As a procedural technician, Forman emphasized teamwork by asking the group to vote a couple of times in a couple different ways, vocal ballots and silent ballots. This helped the group stay on track. He also ran errands for the group, like retrieving the knife and the apartment blueprint. As an initiator, the Forman initiated the discussions after the jurors would break in the beginning of the movie. Whimpy (juror #2) fulfilled a group maintenance role as a supporter. Once Whimpy changed his vote to not guilty, he supported Fonda’s ideas. When Fonda was conversing with Cobb about the glasses, Whimpy supported Fonda’s point of view and told Cobb, “You can’t send someone off to die on evidence like that!” Lee J. Cobb (juror #3) played three individual roles (blocker, dominator, and confessor) and one group task role (opinion giver). Cobb played the role of the blocker most often. From the beginning to the end of the movie, he disagreed and ignored any of the jurors’ statements that are different from his opinion. At one point, Cobb shut down Whimpy who wanted to speak up. As a dominator, Cobb belligerently yelled at anyone who voted non guilty. He often started on a rant of his opinions and refused to let any of the other jurors speak. Cobb played the role as a confessor towards the beginning of the movie when he shared the picture of his son. As an opinion Giver, Cobb said over and over that he was positive the boy was guilty and deserved the death penalty. He repeatedly stated through out the movie, “he (the boy) has to pay for what he did.” E. G. Marshall (juror #4) played a group task role. As an opinion giver, Marshall was loyal to his vote. His opinion towards the end of the movie was still not guilty because of the eyewitness testimony from the women across the street. He was firm in this belief until the eyeglasses fact was brought up. Jack Klugman (juror #5) fulfilled a group task role. As an elaborator, he often compared and contrasted the case to his own life on the street. Specifically, he brought valuable information to the case when talking about the proper way to use a switch knife and how this information compared to the father’s stab wound. The painter (juror #6) was an information seeker, a group task role. It seemed as if the painter was unsure of where he stood for the majority of the movie. At one point he said to Fonda, “Supposin’ you talk us all out of this and, uh, the kid really did knife his father.” He was seeking information that would make him sure of his decision. Jack Warden (juror #7) played a group-building and maintenance role (follower) and an individual role (Joker). He wanted the jurors to reach a conclusion as soon as possible. He had tickets to see a baseball game, and did not want to miss it. He followed and switched his vote to whatever the popular vote was, so that he could...
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