?I decided to write my extra credit essay on the movie Avatar which is one of my favorite films since it was released in 2009. This movie says a lot about society and different kinds of people in it. It really connects very well to all of the four perspectives that we have been covering as a class this semester, The Conflict Perspective, The Functionalist Perspective, The Symbolic Interaction and lastly, The Feminist Theory. First, I believe that it relates to the conflict perspective more so than any of the other perspectives. In this film, the human race is trying to show dominance towards the Avatar race by invading their society and destroying their ‘home tree’. The conflict perspective stresses that in order to understand society; we must understand the struggle between groups. The power groups (human race) will always try to maintain their status through manipulation, exploitation and control.
In the film, the human race declared war because the Avatars wouldn’t move from their home tree where there was a billion dollar rock that the humans were there for, therefore by starting a war and bombing their base, the humans maintained their status as a power group and failed to understand a different society in multiple different ways. ?Next, this movie also relates to the functional perspective. This perspective states that in order to understand society, we must look at it in terms of parts and whole systems.
Once again, the human race failed to see that even though these were ‘aliens’ from another planet, they didn’t take into consideration that they were still living creatures with their own lifestyles and families that they have to take care of. They invaded their life and were only worried about themselves and would take down anything in their way in order to get the gold, which is the mineral that they are there for. ?This film also relates strongly to the symbolic interaction, just as much as the conflict perspective.
The symbolic interaction states that in order to understand society, we must look at day-to-day interaction. Meaning that we must analyze individual’s roles, communication patterns, gestures, etc. Not the entire human race in that movie was ‘evil’, only the marine core and the individuals that declared war and bombed the Avatars. In the film, the scientists in the movie that did research on the Avatar race, studied their way of life, learned their language and even were transformed into an Avatar themselves understood and had respect for a different race.
The main character, Jake Sully, an ex marine who is paralyzed from the waist down really defined the symbolic interaction. In the beginning of the film, he was against the whole idea of the Avatar race and was only there to convince them to move from their homes so the human race can get what they came for. But as the movie proceeds, he realizes that our world is the twisted one and the Avatars are the ones that are living their lives the right way and doing everything the right way, he learns to hunt, fly, talk and live life like them and eventually is accepted as an Avatar by the Avatars. Lastly, this movie relates somewhat to the feminist theory. This movie, and even the show that is aired on TV today shows clearly that the majority of the Avatar race is male. In the movie, I really only remembering seeing two female Avatar’s; Neytiri and Grace (who is actually a human but plays a significant role as an Avatar). I don’t know if the director James Cameron did this for a reason but it could be looked at in many views as gender inequality.