The Social Conflict Theory, By Karl Marx And C. Wright Mills

1000 Words4 Pages
Within Aladdin, there are themes of stratification, stereotyping, and discrimination. “Stratification occurs when members of a society are categorized and divided into groups, which are then placed in a social hierarchy” (Ferris). Race, gender, class, age, or other characteristics are the categorized qualities predominantly. Aladdin mainly focuses on issues relating to class and gender. Stereotyping occurs throughout the movie and can be defined as, “the judging of others based on preconceived generalizations about groups or categories of people” (Ferris). Discrimination is also prevalent in the movie and occurs when “unequal treatment of individuals based on their membership in a social group; usually motivated by prejudice” (Ferris). Ideas taken from the social-conflict theory can be found throughout Aladdin as well. The social-conflict theory was founded by Karl Marx and C. Wright Mills. This theory focuses on social inequalities based on class, gender, and race. The rich and powerful dominate and maintain control over the poor and weak. Social-conflict theorists believe that social change is brought by conflict caused by social inequality and that benefiting certain groups of people and harming others is how a society operates (Ferris). Aladdin is a street rat who steals to live and dreams of a better life. He meets and falls in love with the princess of Agrabah, Jasmine. Setting his sights on her, Aladdin discovers a magic lamp and wishes to be made into a prince, because that is the only way he could ever marry Jasmine. The Grand Vizier of Agrabah and villain, Jafar wishes to keep Aladdin as a poor street rat and makes it his mission to reveal Aladdin’s true identity. The characters in the movie are divided into three grou... ... middle of paper ... ...the same way they did at the beginning of the movie as well. Overall the stratification in Aladdin is not glorified and is seen as a problem. If I were to address stratification in a movie it would be similar to the concepts used in Aladdin. The same kind of rags to riches story but without the objectification of women. Instead of just one person overcoming social stratification like in Aladdin, I would have a large group overthrow societal norms brought on by society. Given these points, Aladdin does a great job of addressing social stratification, discrimination, and stereotyping. Aladdin presents similar concepts as seen in the social-conflict theory as well. Aladdin is no longer discriminated on because of his lack of status. Jasmine isn’t caged by the laws set in place by society and the genie is freed. It only takes a few people to begin a change in society.

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