Gran Torino

Topics: Gang, Crime, Sociology Pages: 5 (1704 words) Published: October 29, 2013

There are age related conflicts, cultural conflicts, religious conflicts and value based conflicts.  This movie is a film highlighting many cultural conflicts.  These conflicts continuously erupt in a working class Michigan neighborhood.  We will first examine a scene with religious cultural conflict. In the same scene we will see age based cultural conflict as well.  Next, we will examine a racial cultural conflict between the Hmong people and an American. After examining cultural conflicts, we will show two examples of popular culture in the film.  Then, we will provide the conflict management styles we would have employed to bring the same result as the current ending without the bloodshed and a general opinion of the film. Our examination will begin with the analysis of two cultural conflicts within the film.  The first conflict we will examine is between the Catholic Priest, Father Janovich and Walt Kowalski.  This conflict takes place initially in the Church when the Father advised Walt that his wife, Dorothy asked the Father to convince Walt to take confession.  The scene continues with the Father visiting Walt’s home.  The Priest advises Walt he wanted to check in on him and would like to take Walt’s confession.  Walt advises the Father that he is an overeducated, 27 year old virgin and he slams the door in his face.  There are multiple cultures clashing in this scene.  First, two religious beliefs are diverging.  Walt advises the Father that he has very little use for church and only attended because his wife preferred him too.  Walt is advising the Father that his beliefs differ from that of his wife’s and though she may have wanted him to confess, he does not plan to do so.  Especially, with a Catholic Priest that possesses very little life experience.  Since Catholic Priests are expected to remain unmarried and virginal throughout their lives, Walt is pointing to a disbelief in the Catholic religion.  Second, Walt is rebuffing the Priest’s age and his lack of experience in life.  Walt, a veteran of the Korean War and Silver Star recipient has experienced life and death firsthand and he is pointing out that a young, textbook educated Priest, fresh from seminary does not possess the necessary wisdom to assist in his journey.  The Priest is continuously made fun of by Walt.  Many scenes depict Walt’s lack of respect for the Catholic Church and his lack of respect for a young Priest with more book knowledge than life experience.  The second scene we will examine for cultural conflict is a scene with Sue and Walt Kowalski.  Sue invites Walt to a BBQ at her home.  She advises Walt, he will be her special guest. After much prodding to convince him to attend, he follows her to her home.  Her house is filled with her Hmong friends and family.  Walt, using many racial slurs and professing many stereotypes continuously offends the Hmong people through cultural misunderstandings.  The conflict in this scene is between Walt, an American veteran of the Korean War and the Hmong people, whom fought alongside the Americans during the Korean conflict and after the Americans left the conflict, were subjected to genocide by the Koreans, so they escaped to the United States.  The older Hmong people do not speak English, so there is a language barrier creating misunderstanding.  Initially Walt is confused as to why the Hmong people refuse to make eye contact with him. He believes they are disrespecting him.  Sue explains the Hmong people do not make eye contact as a cultural norm.  She also explains that Hmong people may smile when they are being admonished and this is because they are insecure, not because they are disrespecting the admonisher.  Walt touches a young Hong female on the head and the room filled with at least 20 people lets out a loud gasp.  Sue explains the Hmong people believe your soul resides in your head.  The conflict between the cultural norms of the Hmong people and an American are clearly based on a lack of...

References: Eastwood, C. (Director) (2008). Gran torino [DVD].
Martin, J., & Nakayama, T. (2011). Experiencing intercultural communication: An
            introduction. (4 ed.). New York, NY: The McGraw-Hill Companies.
Straka, R. (2003, February). The violence of hmong gangs and the crime of rape. FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin. Retrieved from http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2194/is_2_72/ai_98253655/?tag=content;col1
Wilmot, W., & Hocker, J. (2011). Interpersonal conflict. (8 ed.). New York, NY: The
            McGraw-Hill Companies, In
Martin, J. Nakayama, T. (2011). Experiencing intercultural communication: An introduction. (4th ed).
                New York, NY.: McGraw-Hill.
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