Gangs Of New York And The Conflict Theory Essay

Gangs Of New York And The Conflict Theory Essay

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Gangs of New York takes place in 1863 in New York City. This movie shows how conflict can make or break a whole entire city. It is a story of a vendetta as a family legacy set against the historical background of the ethnic feuds in New York City. The three major perspectives can are shown a considerable in Gangs of New York. The conflict theory is shown between the conflict with all of the gangs and, main characters. The symbolic interactionist theory, can be shown through all of the symbols depicted in the movies, especially those related to “Priest” Vallon. And the functionalist theory can be shown through the uproar of the draft, and how the gangs operate the five points.

Conflict is the predominant sociological theory presented in Gangs of New York. The conflict theory is a social theory which argues that individual and groups within society have differing amounts of material and non material resources and that the more powerful groups use their power in order to exploit groups with less power. The first major conflict that we see in the movie is that between the Irish immigrant “Priest” Vallon, and the native Bill “The Butcher” Cutting. The Butcher is the leader of the gang of natives that operate in the Five Points. “Priest” Vallon is killed by the blade of The Butcher. The fight was to settle the social order in the Five Points. After the Dead Rabbits lose the battle they submit to the natives and, The Butcher dominates the Five Points. The butches outlaws the Dead Rabbits and declares that “Priest” Vallon be buried with honor. There is also a conflict between the natives and the incoming Irish after Amsterdam has aged and is returning to New York. There is a general discrimination against the Irish throughout whole f...


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...wed as composed of various parts, each with a function that, when fulfilled, contributes to society’s equilibrium.The functionalist perspective can be shown through how the five points and the gangs operate. In the beginning none of the gangs have all of the power. The Irish are still looked down on from the natives because they are immigrants. It is not till after the battle between “Priest” Vallon and The Butcher that the majority of the power is in The Butcher’s hands. Their religious differences also make the society less stable. This is what causes most of their arguments. The Civil War has a strong presence in the movie. Most of the male citizens in New York City have to sign up for the draft, unless they can afford to pay $300. This causes pandemonium in the streets, eventually leading to the Draft Riots. The Draft Riots did not leave the city in equilibrium.

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