Avatar: seen through five sociological perspectives - Essay Example

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Avatar, a movie by James Cameron, is a good metaphor about social issues of today. The story is about Jake Sully, a paraplegic marine. He was sent to a planet called Pandora, a planet rich with a mineral called unobtanium, five light years away from Earth…
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Avatar: seen through five sociological perspectives
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Download file to see previous pages Avatar, a movie by James Cameron, is a good metaphor about social issues of today. The story is about Jake Sully, a paraplegic marine. He was sent to a planet called Pandora, a planet rich with a mineral called unobtanium, five light years away from Earth He was sent to continue the experiment his dead twin brother was supposed to undertake. To do that, he must use his brother’s avatar to win the hearts of the natives of Pandora, the Na’vi. Also, the avatar is important so that the humans could explore Pandora without having to wear life support gear, as the atmosphere of the planet is hostile. The avatar is a humanoid shell made of a combination of human DNA and Na’vi DNA. To use one, a person must have a compatible DNA with that of the avatar, in order for it to sync the human body’s nervous system with the avatar’s. It’s like remote controlling something with one’s brain. He met Dr. Grace Augustine, the primary scientist in the project, in Pandora. The major goal of the project was to convince the Na’vi to relocate themselves as the humans would mine their hometown of unobtanium, which was abundantly found in their place. One night, Jake Sully was chased by predators and a Na’vi woman by the name Neytiri saved him because, according to her, their goddess Eywa chose him. Because of this, the whole Na’vi tribe accepted him and taught him their ways and culture. As he became adept and familiar to their customs, he was reporting to the marines, telling them the weaknesses of the native culture, telling them how to infiltrate them, so that they will have an easier task when the time came to forcefully remove them from that place. But then Jake Sully fell for Neytiri, and he was officially named “one of them”. When that happened, the humans also attacked the natives. War ensued, and Sully, along with other humans like Dr. Augustine, decided to support the Na’vi and became renegade humans. But because the Na’vi did not trust Sully because he’s human, he had to prove himself by taming the greatest monster in the planet. He did that and impressed the natives, convinced that he was indeed the chosen one. He led the war against humans. Needless to say, the humans lost and were sent back to Earth, letting the Pandorans keep their planet. At the end of the movie we see the elders performing rituals on Sully, transferring his consciousness to the avatar, thereby making him one of them permanently. Sociological Approaches Sociology is the study of human behavior and human groups. It focuses on social relationships and its influences on people’s attitudes and behavior, and how societies are formed and changed. It has many approaches, five of which will be used in analyzing the movie Avatar. The five approaches are: Structural (functionalist), Social, Gender, Race and Symbolic. Social, Gender, Race and Symbolic. Social, Gender, Race and Symbolic. Structural Functionalism Structural functionalism, or the functionalist perspective interprets the society as a structure made up of several, interrelated parts. Each part is interdependent on each other, and adds to society’s functioning as a whole. Because of this structural interdependency and hierarchy, social order, stability and productivity is ensued. In the movie Avatar, structural functionalism is demonstrated by the societies in Pandora, both the humans and the natives. In the human side, structural functionalism is represented by the company that runs the search for unobtonium. They hired the marines for protection against the violent natives. The other “part” of the structure is the scientists. They were there to explore the alien world, to know what riches may still hide in that planet, as it is the new frontier. They were also there to brainwash the natives into giving what the humans want without conflict. The biggest part of that structure is the corporate ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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