Agents of Socialization - Essay Example

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The film was written by Herschel Weingrod and Harris Timothy and produced by Russo Aaron. The thematic content of the movie is centrally based on the existing disparity between the unfortunate poor in the society and rich members within the same society…
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Agents of Socialization John Landis “Trading places” is a comedy film presented in a satirical manner. The film was written by Herschel Weingrod and Harris Timothy and produced by Russo Aaron. The thematic content of the movie is centrally based on the existing disparity between the unfortunate poor in the society and rich members within the same society. Analysts and sociologists consider it a film of nature versus nurture. The paper will lucidly look into details the two of the known socialization agents in relation to one of the character in the movie. Billy Ray Valentine, popularly known as Eddie Murphy in the movie, is one of the most influential and main characters in the movie. In the movie, he represents ghetto and low life scammers in various societies. Eddie’s life is affected by several agents of socialization in the movie. Peer influence is the first socialization agents that affect Eddie’s life. Initially, he is portrayed as an untidy street hustler. He lives by hustling as a job. Psychologically, this lifestyle normally come about due to certain factors, the major one being peer influence. Peer influence occurs from the late childhoods through adolescence age and early adulthood. It makes a child come up with or form his or her own decisions and relationships without the supervision of adults. It encourages either good or bad interests, for instance, in this case, it encouraged wrong interest and decisions interfering with the teenage lifestyle of Eddie. He is put in as a criminal accused of robbing Duke & Duke Company Managing Director, Louis Winthorpe III (Landis, 1983). When the movie is analyzed and watched accurately, there is little evidence that proves his fault or crime. He accidentally bumped into the director when walking along the street. Winthorpe took this as an intention to robbery and acted legally sending the poor street hustler to jail. Peer pressure also made him smoke marijuana in the office toilet where he worked. This probably leads to his abrupt sacking by the Dukes. Work is another sociological agent that changed his life, especially the economic and social aspects. Winthorpe is framed in the public as a thief. He is arrested, and drugs are planted on him. He is sacked from his work and his bank accounts frozen lowering him to the standard of a street hustler. He is also denied any entry to the house he lived in when working as a manager of the company. Claiming as a program aimed at assisting underprivileged in society, the Dukes decide to bail Eddie from the prison and install him in the position as a manager of the company, taking the place of Winthorpe. He is given authority to use Winthorpe’s home, as his new residence (Landis, 1983). He, thus, lives a good life, which is a clear opposite of that he lived at the streets. Because of his knowledge and street experience, Eddie becomes well versed in the business ensuring an increased profit margin. He is well mannered in the work place and performs his responsibilities in an appropriate and timely manner. As explained above, the job changed his lifestyle completely. He is no longer on streets hustling and begging. Working makes an individual busy and in the right psychological mindset, it does not allow for any other imaginations or negative thoughts. The work also changed his life since he managed to interact with people from various social classes. He also applied his street smartness to the job. The third sociological agent that affected Eddie’s life is mass media. Mass media, as the terms suggest, refers to certain methods used by various media houses to relay news or information to their listeners or readers. In this film, Eddie, after he is fired off from the job, join hands with other four men, Ophelia, and Coleman and Winthorpe and aim at creating an environment that will not allow the success of the Duke’s business anymore. This is a vengeful plan to the two former managers of the company. Through television, Valentine (Eddie) and Winthorpe manage to speculate future increase in the price of concentrated orange juice. They learn from the television a secret report on orange crop forecast being transported by Clarence Beeks, a friend and a business advisor to the Duke and Duke Company. They two agree to disrupt Beeks’ plan. They capture him and hold put him in a cage with a gorilla (Landis, 1983). They went ahead and bought concentrated orange juice for future contracts. As expected, price of orange juice shot and the two made a lot of money out of it. The large profit margin changed their lifestyle making it better than before. From this illustration, it can be deduced that television, classified under mass media, is one of the most influential sociological agents. The news that it displayed to the two individuals was enough to convince them and changed their lives to a much better one than before. In conclusion, the movie, “Trading Places” is a good and relevant reference for any sociology student. It outlines and portrays succinctly the main sociological agents in other characters as well. Eddie, as one of the characters, has been significantly affected by certain sociological agents as illustrated above. References Landis, J. (1983). Trading Places. Loss Angeles: Paramount Pictures. Read More
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