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Culture, Gender, and Power Differences in Conflict | UK US Essays
  • March 8th, 2016

Culture, Gender, and Power Differences in Conflict

Paper, Order, or Assignment Requirements

Beasts of the Southern Wild; social constructionism and culture
Before participating in this week’s discussion forum, please complete the assigned readings and watch the film Beasts of the Southern Wild. You can watch it online, free of charge, at the following URL:

https://www.novamov.com/video/b62e21f6efc28 (Links to an external site.)
If you have watched this film in the past, prior to taking this class, please watch it again after completing the assigned readings. After watching the film, please address the following questions in an in-depth post on the discussion forum:

1, Based on this week’s readings, what do you think “culture” is?
2. How does it relate to conflict resolution?
3. How is the film Beasts of the Southern Wild relevant to “culture”, and to “culture and conflict”?
4. Please discuss Avruch and Black’s conceptualization of culture?
5. how some of their ideas are illustrated in the film?
6 How are Roy’s notions of power and conflict relevant?
7. How is the social constructionist framework an adequate analytical lens for this film?
Identify and discuss examples from the film that illustrate the social constructionist stance that the ways in which we understand the world and the categories we use are culturally and historically specific.
Think about agency as well. Social constructionism acknowledges that both structure and agency exist. It is not a deterministic framework. As Burr explains: “From a social constructionist perspective individuals are not determined by society, nor is there an ‘essential’ human nature or a ‘coherent, unified self’ capable of making ‘self-originated choices and decisions’ (Burr 1995:97). Can you find examples of human agency in the film?

Sample1
Based on this week’s class readings I have found that culture encompasses many different things. It not only involves where we live, and those with whom we live, it delves deeper into our human interactions and perceptions of the world. The readings also firmly support the idea that culture is extremely relevant to conflict resolution. After reading this week’s readings and watching the film I definitely can see the association. The film Beasts of the Southern Wild is very relevant to the discussion of culture as well as to culture and conflict. It is evident from the beginning of the film that culture can greatly impact the way in which we perceive and deal with conflict.

Avruch and Black discuss how every individual can perceive, interpret, evaluate, and act differently in a given situation. This leads them to the question of how individuals conceptualize conflict. They discuss this concept by focusing on three particular areas of culture and conflict: cross-cultural, intercultural, and transcultural. The message they try to make evident is that culture influences conflict. The way in which Hushpuppy and her dad experience conflict (intercultural) is different from the way everyone in the Bathtub experiences conflict with those in the relief shelter (cross-cultural) once they are evacuated. The culture of these people strongly influences how they express conflict.

Roy describes power as something we do. She further discusses her idea that power is shaped significantly by the social situations we live in. I particularly feel that Roy’s discussion of culture and power is relevant to the movie. In her writing she is firm in the belief that individual histories and identities influence each individual to act in a certain way. This in and of itself creates a significant power dynamic. This is clearly evident in the film. At the point in the movie where those living in the Bathtub are forced to evacuate we see a significant power struggle strongly influenced by the culture of these people. They are being taken from their home and forced to go elsewhere. They feel betrayed and fight the removal from the Bathtub extensively. Shortly thereafter we see them escaping the relief center to go home.

Social constructionism involves looking at and understanding the world in a way that is based upon individual objective, unbiased observations of the world. This understanding is further rooted in historical and cultural context. Social constructionism also involves our understanding of the world related to our social interactions. This can definitely be related back to the film. It is shown that the individuals living in the Bathtub fear and dislike those on the other side of the dam. Social constructionism supports the idea that they developed these ideas and observations based on the human interactions they have with themselves. Maybe if their everyday lives involved some of “the other people” they would have differing opinions and ultimately be more receptive to these individuals.

Examples of human agency are present in this film. The individuals living in the Bathtub are truly not determined by society. They live in and among themselves and function effectively that way. This can even been seen in the relationship between Hushpuppy and her father. At the beginning of the film they live in two different places and throughout the film we see both of them trying to function on their own not being forced to work as a “unified self”. I believe that Hushpuppy is an excellent example of human agency in the film. She is a young child that really is fending for herself. She makes her own choices and decisions without the influence of others.

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