Stereotyping is the most prevalent social psychology theme within the film and is at the heart of most of the conflict within the plot. Stereotypes are the beliefs individuals hold about groups of people based off of traits or characteristics that they share. They are based off of the schemas that people have and play a major role in processing the information collected from social interaction and first meetings. The famous opening and closing narration of the movie focuses on the central theme of stereotypes: "You see us as you want to see us. In the simplest terms. The most convenient definitions. You see us as a brain, an athlete, a basket-case, a princess, and a criminal.” Each of these five categories fits the portrayal of one of the characters: Brian Johnson (the brain), Andrew Clark (the athlete), Allison Reynolds (the basket-case), Claire Standish (the princess), and John Bender (the criminal). At the beginning of the film, each of the characters ...
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... in Brian’s famous narration at the beginning of the film he states that they were “brainwashed” due to how they viewed each other before seven that morning. This seems to fit with how society tends to view stereotypes, even though we rely on our social schemas in similar ways without even being totally aware of it. The portrayal of social identity theory is also very effective, despite only being a major point in one scene. It created interesting conflict within the characters, considering that they wanted to be friends but realized that it would prove difficult within the social structure of their school lives. The film is so relatable to so many people because most people have had some point in their lives where they struggle with these issues. Social psychology is at the heart of The Breakfast Club and its success, especially stereotyping and social identity.
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