Hollywood itself plays an enormous role on how we as a nation see our society. We life for the dramas, love stories, fairytales, and action pact block-busters we so desperately need to observe every weekend. However, the larger question is, how much of Hollywood’s film making is actual fact compared to what the public wants to see. Throughout Robert Bulman’s Hollywood Goes to High School, we can see how film making can alter the vision of public and private education. Bulman analyzes how films on the poor urban schooling, middle-class suburban schooling, and high elite private schooling can sometimes mislead society’s perception on education. Despite Hollywood’s biases to happy endings and the ability to win over the crowd, Bulman believes that Hollywood has gotten the American education somewhat correct. However, American culture is constantly playing a role on our interpretation of education through social class, historical events in the past and racial/ethnic biases.
Bulman’s main purpose for writing this novel is take Hollywood’s point of view on education, and compare it to actual educational problems in real society today. Bulman uses a total of 185 films that depict high school education. Bulman explains,
“I viewed each of the films at least once…taking notes on the role of the teacher, peer relations, among students, relations between students and adults, student attitudes toward schoolwork, extracurricular activities, the role of the family, the resources of the school, the use of violence and drugs, exploitation of sexuality (4).”
Bulman used all of these aspects to separate the films into three different categories. He observes public education and private education by looking at urban, suburban, and elite private sch...
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...lms these students get away with murder and still go on to college. This simply does not happen in real life; therefore, looking to Hollywood films for the true colors of schools is not in the best of interests. We have to realize that directors produce these films in their vision of American culture. We as Americans always look to the American Dream of sometime “making it.” The films neglect to see the loser’s point of view, meaning Hollywood films only look to a positive ending because it is in our nature to believe in the American Dream. This book allows our society to actually look past the films fantasies and observe the true inequalities in school. Although Hollywood films do correctly show how urban, suburban, and private students behave in schools, they do not show the true outcomes of real life.
Hollywood Goes to High School