Analysis Of The Movie ' Dear White People ' Essay

Analysis Of The Movie ' Dear White People ' Essay

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Dear White People is a film that depicts the white framework of society that pertains to a prestigious college that is predominantly middle-upper-class, white, students. The film follows the perspective of several African American students as they try to develop themselves towards self-actualization despite the oppressive stereotypes that label and sets parameters of socially acceptable behavior. The film provides a great example of ethnic attrition in the character of Lionel Higgins, as well as using the conflict perspective in connection with racism, and provides examples of both individual discrimination, and institutional discrimination.
An early principle the film explores is that of ethnic attrition. Leon-Guerrero defined in her book, “Social Problems: Community, Policy, and Social Action” ethnic attrition as “individuals choosing not to self-identify as a member of a particular ethnic group” (pg. 73). In the film, Lionel Higgins, a gay Black student, is feeling isolated and alone sitting on the steps of the classroom. He watches as group of gay students converse with each other, imagining what it might be like to be a part of their group. Lionel then grimaces, as he watches a stereotypical gay Black student arrives late to the meeting apologizing to his friends. I also believe it is important to note that this is a reference to a negative stereotype known as colored people’s time, where there is a perceived frequency in Black people being late, a theme mentioned multiple times during the film. Lionel then turns his attention to a group of stereotypical African Americans, imagining himself within their group. He however does not see himself as being a member of either group, the gay students or Black students. I believe th...


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...sily be seen using the conflict perspective as a lens for interpreting the struggles of the characters throughout the film. In my opinion, this film was written tactfully and is thought provoking. I especially enjoyed the film because it allowed me to view racism through a lens that I have never seen before. It made me more aware of some of the inequalities that are happening around me, and inspired me to speak out when I see them happening around me. I feel that all people are working toward self-actualization, and that we set enough of our own limits toward success. There is really no room left for unkind and unnecessary labels that bind and restrict people to them, or cause them to act out against it. I would like to see a parameter of socially acceptable behavior set in which all people are respected, despite political, educational, religious, or ethnic barriers.

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