Kung Fu Panda in the Eye Of a Social Psychologist

Topics: Sociology, Social status, Status attainment Pages: 3 (1007 words) Published: January 29, 2014
Movies enact realistic social situations and serve as social learning tools, especially animated ones that are being consumed by both young and adult audiences. The movie that will be discussed in this paper is "Kung Fu Panda".

First theory that will be introduced in this paper analyzes social groups, which exist when two or more persons interact with one another, share common goals, are interdependent to some extent and recognize that they belong to a group, as defined by Paulus (1989). The group presented in "Kung Fu Panda" movie is "The awesome five" – warriors who live in training temple and follow common goal of being the best defendants to their land and eventually making it to become "the dragon warrior" – a desired respectful title of the one who is destined to fight against the mutual enemy when the time comes. The group of "the awesome five" provides for its members rather high status and prestige, the roles of the members have been gradually acquired through years of training and according to the unique talents of each. Group's norms require total adherence in order to maintain membership and group's appreciation. The group is distinguished by quite high cohesiveness, which is characterized by a combination of few features. First of all - status within the group is very high in this specific case since every member is a high status member. Secondly, the effort required to gain entry to the group is enormous and almost impossible, the group is a closed one with no willingness to accept new members. In addition, the group has been formed in order to confront severe external threat – Tai Long – a rebel warrior who threatens to exterminate nearby villages. This factor plays an important role in members' commitment to the group. And last but not least – the group is a very small one – only 5 personages. All of the above reinforces the cohesiveness of the group. So, after being spontaneously assigned as a member of a highly desired group, Panda faces few...
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