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Sociological Perspective: a Film of the Breakfast Club

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Sociological Perspective: A Film Of The Breakfast Club

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Allison Reynold’s development significantly changed, physically and emotionally, from the start to the end of Saturday detention, compared to the other students. At the start Allison is seen as the outcast who is shy, with her head down, making the least amount of noise as possible, believed to barely keep a steady conversation with her peers. As the movie progressed Allison starts to open up from her shell slowly but, you can see the improvements. She lifted her head and participated in conversions with her fellow peers in detention, like their family situations. When Allison stole Brian’s wallet, the purpose was to have fun but to also away to know about him, since Allison has a hard time asking him about himself. When Andrew asks Allison about her family she starts tearing up displaying that her family is an emotional topic, since her family ignores her. Allison has a hard time talking to people since nobody barely does, not at home since her family ignores her, and not at school since she says that she has no friends. Near the end when all the kids were in a circle opening up about their lives and what got them in detention, Allison claims that her life is unsatisfying and that she wants to run away but by the end of the movie she sees that there is more to her life then unsatisfying because, in the end, she walks away from the experience in detention with three new friends and a possible boyfriend. With her development emotionally and her communication skills, she also changed her physical appearance with the help of Clair who offered to do her makeup and change her dark clothes into a beautiful light blue dress to impress Andrew. With her nice smile walking out of the school you can tell that those 8 hours that seemed dreadful turned out to be the best hours of her life taking what she listened with her for the rest of her life. Detention helped her open up about herself to not shut out the world. Out of everyone in detention Alison had learned the most about herself and others around her. Therefore, instead of Saturday detention being a punishment it was an award for her self-development.

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When the principal asks who took the screws out of the door the kids did not say that it was Bender who took the screw from the door. This occurred because right after Bender took the screw from the door to close it, Clair, Andrew, and Brian were yelling at Bender to put the screw back, and if one of them says that Bender was the one who took the screw from the door then the principle might think that every else took the screw out of the door or encouraged Bender to do it since they were all making noise before the principle walked into the library. The students didn’t have a lot of time to think about what to say to the principal when he demanded to know who took out the screw, so they covered for Bender since they want to protect each other and see the principal as the enemy in this situation, not Bender, even as much as Bender and Andrew fight and don’t get along. The students know that Bender already has 7 weeks of Saturday detention and they do not want him to have another week since they hate being in detention and do not want Bender to suffer another week of Saturday detention. Not admitting that Bender was the one who took the screw from the door makes the principal look like a fool and at the principal’s last nerve since the students were making leaking excuses as to why the screw ‘fell’ out of the door causing the door to close which the principle clearly stated at the beginning of the movie to keep open. Also, the other students, Clair, Brian, Andrew, and Allison, do not want to cause more trouble with Bender since it can cause a further extension of detention for them since they have things to do like Andrew said that he has a wrestling practice next Saturday that he does not want to miss.

Structural functionalism, conflict theory, and symbolic interactionism are all being represented in the film The Breakfast Club, with examples supporting this claim. Structural functionalism states that social institutions, in this case, the school meets the needs of individuals to function and run in harmony and happiness with all members (Winner, 2011). The example of structural functionalism in the film is that all students, except for Allison, that were in Saturday detention broke the roles that the school institution has established, and detention is the punishment for breaking those rules. One of the principal’s jobs is to make sure that all students and staff members follow the rules of the school to allow harmony and happiness to meet the needs of students learning and allow staff to do their job. The Saturday detention punishment is so that students do not break the rules so that the institution can run smoothly with as minimal conflicts as possible. Although, it is impossible to always avoid conflicts which are where the conflict theory comes into play. Conflicts theory claims that there is competition between different groups of students and the battle for popularity or to be the best of something, that can be grades, sports, etc… or both. For example, when all the kids were in a circle talking about their lives and what they did wrong to get into detention, Brian asked the group if they all are still friends after detention, since they all different people and belong to different groups in school, Clair was hesitant because she was not sure what her friends would say if they saw her with people like, Brian or Allison or Bender. Clair was afraid that her friends would not allow her to be their friend anymore since it is a battle for popularity and being seen with people of less popularity can lower your popularity as well, which Clair does not want to happen. Another example of conflict theory is the battle the best and the most intelligent, setting unrealistic goals for yourself. Brian wanted to have his grade average high, so he took what he thought at the time to be an easy class be turned to fail an assignment which drastically lowered his average. Brain felt so overwhelmed by not achieving his goal to have a high average for university and not fail any classes that he was going to end his life. When we want to be the most popular or just the best we take away power and put down others to be at the top and keep that power away from others, as an example of the wealthy keeping all power away from the poor class (Winner, 2011). “According to [symbolic interactionism], the individual is at the center of understanding society, since social values and roles are formed by individual interpretation” (Winner, 2011, p.109). The principal in the movie is the center of the school institution, who has an understanding of the society in schools with students and teachers and their roles in school. The behavior of the principle is rooted in the reaction and response to who the principal is talking to. For example, when Bender was talking back to the principal, the principal gave Bender more detention every time Bender acted disrespectfully to the principal. The principal would not give Bender detention for anything, but it was the response that Bender gave to the principal that changed the principal’s interpretation that he then gave Bender additional Saturday detention.

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