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Sociological review of the movie Borat - Essay Example

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sociological review of Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan Author’s Name Author’s University E-Mail: Introduction “Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot.” ~Charlie Chaplin The above quote comes out to be quite germane to the centricity of Sacha Baron Cohen’s character in Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhastan (2006)…
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Sociological review of the movie Borat
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Download file to see previous pages Set in a documentary style, the narrative begins in a small village where Borat introduces his family and village to the audience. Borat is soon asked by the government of Kazakhstan to visit The United States of America in order to learn the cultural roots of the most powerful nation in the world. He would then bring back his learnings, as a form of a documentary, and teach the Central Asian nation, a part of former Soviet Union, the “American Way”. With a limited budget, an obese sidekick as a producer of the documentary (Azamat Bagatov played by Ken Davitian), Borat sets off to meet real Americans. His zigzag journey across different states, his reactions to American culture and vice-versa (America’s reaction to Borat) is on one side a comical riot but on the other hand exposes the prejudices and hypocrisies in the American culture. As Borat is capable to see the world only from his own cultural viewpoint, the movie at solitary level is a story of ethnocentrism gone crazy. His values, beliefs, and norms are quite a horror and offensive at first, but sadly depict the realities of multiculturalism in the US (Lee). This write-up aims to review the movie from a sociology point of view, illustrating the interfaces of sociological theories with movie’s account and themes. Ethnocentrism I believe that the central sociological theory in the movie Borat. Ethnocentrism is the practice of comparing other cultural practices with your own and often finding them inferior. Cultural divide, being the main theme of the movie, is practically embedded in almost all scenes both from American and Kazakhi points of views (Robert Brym). Sacha Boren demonstrates this in the famous rodeo scene in Texas where he enters the ring to praise the power of America, its decision to invade Iraq and cursing the enemies of America. He is met with rounds of applause and cheers. However, he stretches his act by singing the national anthem of Kazakhstan on American tune calling it the greatest country in the world. The idea that some other country beats the United States in glory and power does not go well with the audience as it responds with loud jeers and boos. The incident hints ethnocentrism being rooted in American culture and perhaps the root of various prejudices Americans have against other cultures and nationalities (Lalo). Conflict theory Another principle theory that is reflective in the movie right from the start is Karl Marx’s Conflict theory that defines conflicts in social structures as the main driver of the progressive development in greater equality, democracy, autonomy and individuality (Sociology Guide). The conflict between races (especially Jews) is apparent right from the start of the movie. Many DVD versions of the movie have the following language options: English, French, Spanish, Russian and Hebrew. If you select "Hebrew," you would hear a repeated warning, "Jew in vocinity, Jew in vocinity," as the screen flashes the following messages: "You have been trapped Jew!" "Keep your claws where they can be seen." "Do not attempt shift your shape." And this is all before the movie even begins. Borat Sagdiyev lives in a world that believes Jews to have horns on their head. A ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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