What Does The Movie Remember The Titans Deal With Sociology – Essay Example
and Number of the Teacher’s SOCIOLOGY IN THE FILM REMEMBER THE TITANS Introduction The film Remember the Titans released in the year 2000 is based on a true story in the late 1960s-1970s, reflecting the issue of racism. At that time communities of whites and blacks lived segregated from each other; similarly schools were racially segregated, and the “blacks” as they were then referred to, were not socially accepted; the term African American is a more recent coinage. The racist prejudices and stereotypes were deeply ingrained through social learning. The T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia was forced to integrate with black students, for building the football team.
Thesis Statement: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the sociological concepts woven into the film Remember the Titans, the story of a school football team.
The film effectively portrays the sociological concepts of racism, cultural differences, discrimination and non-acceptance of each other, by the whites and the blacks in the football team, aiming to win the state championship. They overcome issues based on prejudice by the guidance and leadership of the new “black” football coach Herman Boone played by Denzel Washington appointed instead of the local choice and well-qualified white coach Bill Yoast played by Bill Patton. This was done to resolve racial tensions in the football team and the wider community. Discrimination is found in many scenes such as when the white parents and students find Boone’s appointment to be totally non-acceptable, and raise a furore over it. During the course of the film, several scenes depict social behavior rooted in racism and discrimination.
Conflicts caused by preconceptions and cultural differences between the two sets of people, is exemplified in the scene where the team members are celebrating; the black students behave in a loud manner, and the white quarterback comments “that’s just how they are”, for which the black guys get offended. Segregation rooted in several years of social learning is portrayed in the scene in the cafeteria during football camp where the blacks and whites sit in separate groups, since breaking the social norm of segregation would result in exclusion from the peer group.
Coach Boone attempts to change the players’ social categorization and their concept of the whites being the in-group, with the blacks as the out-group. The common goal of the team to play together and win the match would be possible only by overcoming their extreme hostility towards each other. Therefore, Boone uses the contact hypothesis of social integration, teaming each player with a partner of a different race, and asking them to learn a number of new things about each other every day, and report back with their information. Similarly, when the two sets of people rode separate buses, Boone made them sit together. These efforts help to break the ice and warm up relationships between the races, leading to strong bonds and the players forming a winning team.
The true story on which the film is based, depicts the resolution of conflicting race
relations among the black and white members of the school football team, during their pursuit of the state championship. Under the leadership of the new, “black” coach played by Denzel Washington, the football team ultimately learns to socially triumph over their difficulties, and work together for the common goal of winning the state championship. Moreover, this results in the entire community getting slowly united; thus affirming the significance of sports in bringing harmony among traditionally disparate groups, leading to integration, social acceptance of the group discriminated against, and equality among different races. Thus, the fundamental theme of the story emphasizes on a life lesson for the viewers, and its social message comes through effectively.