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The Hunger Games Social Change and Deviance/Crime

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Alexandra Ter Haar

on 17 December 2014

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Transcript of The Hunger Games Social Change and Deviance/Crime

The Hunger Games, Social Change, and Deviance/Crime

Presented by:
Kevin Gopal, Madeline Lenz, Sydney Neal, Michelle Pietruszka, William Scheve, and Alexandra Ter Haar

The Hunger Games Movie Summary
Chapter 7: Deviance, Social Control, and Crime
Chapter 21: Social Change
TSEL Intro
Mapping Statement
How does the movie
The Hunger Games
show social change, deviance and crime? To address this question we use information from articles that we all have read, “The Socially Examined Life”, and “Sociology,” specifically chapters 7 and 21. We also make real life comparisons so we can truly understand the situation.
Nation of Panem Consists of wealthy Capitol ruling 12 poorer districts.
Capitol has complete control over the 12 districts. They tell them what to produce, they govern them, and police them.
Hunger Games: 1 boy and 1 girl from each district chosen to fight to the death as punishment for past rebellions and quell social uprising.
Katniss volunteers to save her sister.
Go to capitol and put on a show so they can get sponsors
Games begin.
Katniss is supposed to kill but she doesn't want "them" to change her.
Rue saves Katniss and they team up until she is killed
Shows the hand sign to the camera as a symbol of togetherness between the districts and defiance towards the capitol. Everyone knows who the real enemy is.
Katniss and Peeta are the final two and commit final act of defiance eating the berries.
Specific Content from TSEL (Chapter 6: Behavior as a Product of Interaction)
The Hunger Games
also connected to topics in the book The Sociologically Examined Life. In this presentation, the actions performed or not performed by the characters will be explored by discussing the topic of behavior, how behavior is produced, how individuals deviate from what is considered ‘normal behavior,’ and how deviance is affected by external stimuli such as cultural background, power relationships, and current situational circumstances.
behavior that is recognized as violating expected rules and norms
Informal Deviance:
Violations of informal social norms (ex. chewing with mouth open)
Formal Deviance:
Violations of formally enacted laws (ex. robbery, theft, murder)
Social Control Theory:
Theory that explains deviance as a result of weakening social bonds
One form of deviance; specifically, behavior that violates criminal laws
Organized Crime:
Crime committed by organized groups, typically involving the illegal provision of goods and services to others
Personal Crimes:
violent or nonviolent crimes directed against people

Chapter 7 Continued:More Important Terms
An attribute that is socially devalued and discredited
Deviant identity:
the definition a person has of himself or herself as a deviant
Structural Strain Theory:
a theory that interprets deviance as originating in the tensions that exist in society between cultural goals and the means people have to achieve those goals
compliance with standards, rules, and laws
Conformity in fulfilling official requirements; a disposition to yield to others
penalties or rewards for conduct concerning a social norm.
Formal sanctions:
a jail sentence or promotion- typically comes from an authority
Informal sanctions:
would be a smile or compliment or bullying/humiliation- not laws or rules- so an example would be someone talking to themselves, its not illegal, but the people giving him dirty looks or out right mocking him would be imposing informal sanctions.

Social Change and Collective Behavior
Collective behavior
refers to social processes and events that do not reflect existing social structures (laws, conventions, and institutions), as they emerge in a spontaneous way.
A sudden widespread interest in a website (Facebook)
A rapid spread of rumors (that Barack Obama is not a U.S. Citizen)
Collective behavior is displayed by four types of grouping of people
The crowd
The public
The mass
The social movement
Collective behavior can change elements in society, known as “social movements.”

Sources of Social Change
Deprivation Theory
- posits that social movements emerge among people who believe themselves to be deprived of certain goods or resources
Mass-Society Theory
- posits that social movements are comprised of people who feel marginalized from the rest of society
Structural-Strain Theory
- posits that social movements arise as a result of: structural conduciveness, structural strain, growth and spread of a solution, precipitating factors, lack of social control, and mobilization.
Resource-Mobilization Theory
- the mobilization of sufficient resources is central to movement formation and success (knowledge, money, power)
Political Process Theory
- the existence of political opportunities is crucial for movement development
Culture Theory
- Resource-Mobilization Theory + Political Process Theory
1. Emphasized importance of movement culture
2. Addresses the free-rider problem(idea that people won't be motivated to participate in a social movement if it will use up their own resources)

Social Movements
Social movements are a specific type of group action in which large informal groups of individuals or organizations work for or against change in specific political or social issues.
Social movements are based upon two fundamental questions:
(1) Who is the movement attempting to change?
(2) How much change is being advocated?
Other categories have been used to distinguish between types of social movements:
Type of Change
Methods of Work

Literature Review and Discussion
The Rich Get Richer, The Poor Get Prison
The Article is discussing how the criminal justice system was designed to maintain and encourage the existence of a stable and visible class of criminals.
It benifits the rich because they are able to get cheap unskilled labor to do the bad jobs foralmost no expense to themselves. Capitol has the same relationship with the 12 districts.
Goal of American justice system isn't to eliminate crime but is to project the threat of crime as a threat from the poor.
Design a Justice system is used to create a visible class of criminals
create laws against drug use, prostitution and gambling. These laws have no unwilling victim and make many people criminals for doing what they consider to be normal behavior
Give police broad discretion to decide who got arrested
Prison experience should not only by painful, but also demeaning
Prisoners shouldn't be trained in a skill
Ex-offenders should be harassed by police
Demonstrates how deviance is created and in our system the poor are the ones who are determined to be deviant
In district 12 things like the black market or hunting are illegal. Makes the population see their justice system as ridiculous and arbitrary
The Outsider Within and Social Change (Collins 13-19)
Written by: Patricia Hills Collins
Describes African American women's contribution to sociological thought (13)
Her goal is to create sociology that is more accurate and more inclusive of diversity of humans (13)
3 Key Themes in
Black Feminist Thought
1. The necessity of self-definition and self-valuation for Black female survival (16)
2. The interlocking nature of race, gender, and class oppression (16)
3. Efforts to redefine and explain the importance of Black women's culture (17)
Sociological Significance
Made significant contributions to the task of clarifying a Black women's standpoint of and for Black women (17).
The Functions of Poverty (Gans 20-24)
Functions (and how they specifically relate to The Hunger Games):

Societies “dirty work” will get done (underpaid, undignified, and menial jobs): All of the districts take different “dirty work” jobs and do them for all of Panem. District 12 does mining, which is why Katniss’ father died (in a mining accident). Some fish, farm, do masonry--- all to produce for the “dominant” group and make their lives easier.

Because the poor are required to work at low wage, they subsidize a variety of economic activities that benefit the affluent. The poor pay a larger share of their income in property and sales taxes: In
The Hunger Games,
the people of the district could sign their children up for more chances to get into the “Hunger Games” to get more grain rations. The Hunger Games is ENTERTAINMENT. Also, the districts produce the materials for the capital’s needs.

Poverty creates jobs for many occupations that serve the poor: police, gambling, peacetime army, etc: peace-keepers, game makers, everyone who works on the Hunger Games or sells products to the districts.

The poor buy goods others do not want and thereby prolong their economic usefulness: they settle for very little food or the bad food to get by, grains, etc.

The poor can be identified and punished as alleged or real deviants to uphold the legitimacy of conventional norms. To justify the desirability of hard work and thrift, for example, the defender of these norms must be able to find persons they can accuse of being lazy and spendthrifts: the poor people of the districts are placed into the Hunger Games to remind the people of the capitol that they get what they deserve because they caused a rebellion in the past. They are even murdered in the Hunger Games for entertainment to get that point across.

The Functions of Poverty (Gans 20-24)
The poor offer vicarious participation in deviant activities in which they are alleged to participate: stealing, hunting when forbidden, black markets, STARTING REBELLIONS.

The poor serve as culture heroes and as cultural artifacts: Katniss is the Hunger Games. The people of the capital love a success story!

Poverty helps to guarantee the status of those who are not poor. In every hierarchical society, there has to be someone at the bottom to hold up the rest of the population: the people in the farther districts are even lower than the people in the closer districts.

The poor aid the upward mobility of groups just above them in the class hierarchy. Many persons have entered the middle class by providing goods and services to the poor: AKA the success of the first 4 districts- what’s the word for the young people in the wealthier districts trained to be in the Hunger Games?

The poor help to keep the aristocracy busy as providers of charity: the people of the capital love to pity the people of the districts- N/A to the charity part except for maybe sending presents (word for them?) during the games.

The Functions of Poverty (Gans 20-24)
The poor, being powerless, can be made to absorb the costs of change and growth in American society (e.g., 'urban renewal' vs. 'poor removal'): N/A

The poor facilitate and stabilize the American political process because they vote and participate less than other groups: the people of the districts of Panem have no governmental voting power so N/A.

Not only does the alleged moral deviancy of the poor reduce the moral pressure on the political economy to reduce poverty, but socialist alternatives can be made to look unattractive if those who will benefit most from them can be described as lazy, spendthrift, dishonest, and promiscuous: again, the capital claims the people of the districts deserve their place and life chances because of the havoc they caused in the past.

White Privilege
In this article, McIntosh talks about all of the advantages that come with being white (over most other races) or, more generally, being in any of the dominant subgroups in America. By privilege, she means advantages that are given to a group of people that are unearned and are unfairly given to a select group of people. She discusses how when those with privilege do not realize their advantages, they can unknowingly perpetuate the inequality that still exists in American society (McIntosh). In the country of Panem, the dominant group, though not the majority, is the group that resides in the Capitol where there is an excess of food, money, and comfort. In the districts, especially as one moves farther away from the Capitol, there lives poverty, hunger, and a great deal of fear.
White Privilege Continued
Even as one moves closer toward the districts, there lies evidence of unearned privilege in districts one and two. These districts receive more in the name of supplies and food because they actively embrace and train for the Hunger Games. Other than that, they did nothing to earn the special treatment by the Capitol, but still they received significantly more materials than the other districts did. So, when children selected from these districts get to the Hunger Games, they are seen as deviant by the majority of the tributes because the majority of the tributes did not train for the games, did not want to be there, and usually came from an impoverished background.
The difference is that the children of the districts know their privilege and intend on using their mostly unearned benefits (other than training) to have the upper hand in the Hunger Games. Whereas in American society, the majority of people in the dominant group are unaware of the advantages they hold. Most children in the games that are not in the lower districts do not want to kill and it goes against their morals. The children of Districts one and two are deviant in that all of their lives have been devoted to training to kill and survive the Hunger Games, while the vast majority of the other tributes’ live have been dedicated to simply trying to survive.
Conflict Theory
Symbolic Interactionism
Feminist Theory and Crime and Deviance
Sociological Theories
The Functions of Crime
“The Functions of Crime” was a functionalist analysis of crime and deviance.
Crime is necessary/ benefits of crime
One benefit is “crime itself may play a useful part in … evolution (Durkheim 176).”
Helps people prepare for change
Many people in
The Hunger Games
broke the laws so they would not starve
There were harsh punishments for breaking the laws
People were expecting revolts so when they finally happened, they were somewhat prepared
(Hunger Games)
This diagram depicts Robert Merton's Structural Strain Theory which shows what type of position people hold in society based on their acceptance or rejection of institutions and cultural goals- or if they create new for both.
Definition: statements of how and why particular facts about the social world are related
Conflict Theory
Symbolic Interactionism
Feminist Theory
• Juvenile crime is disproportionately committed by young men
• Why? Need to express masculinity
• (Sociology Chapter 7 Section 7 Juvenile Crime)
• This can be seen with Gale at the beginning of the movie (Hunger Games)
• One theory is that women are limited in crimes they can commit (Feminism and Crime)
• In the real world- women do not participate in crime as much as men do (Harris)

Feminist Theory and Social Change
• First Wave Feminism, Second Wave Feminism, Third Wave Feminism (Sociology Chapter 21 Section 3 Gender and Social Movements)
• Panem probably did not see another wave of feminism (Hunger Games)
• Real life- women who work

Works Cited
Collins, Patricia Hill. “Learning from the Outsider Within.” Blackboard. N.P. 1986. Web. 7
September 2014.

Crossman, Ashley. "An Overview of Conflict Theory." About. About.com. Web. 4 Nov. 2014.

"Deviance, Basic Concepts of Sociology Guide." Deviance, Basic Concepts of Sociology. Web. 4 Nov. 2014.

Durkheim, Emile. “The Functions of Crime.” Blackboard. N.P., 1982. Web. 14 October 2014.

"Feminism and Crime". HistoryLearningSite.co.uk. 2014. Web. 4 November 2014.

Gans, Herbert J. “The Uses of Poverty: The Poor Pay All.” Blackboard. N.P., 1971. Web. 28 October 2014.

Harris, Kelly. Class. Saint Louis University, Saint Louis. 22 October 2014. Lecture.

McIntosh, Peggy. “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack.” Blackboard. N.P., 1988. Web. 4 November 2014.

Reiman, Jeffrey H. “The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison.” Blackboard. Needham Heights, 1997. Web. 14 October 2014.

Schwalbe, Michael.
The Sociologically Examined Life
. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1998. Print

"Social Change." Sociology Guide. Web. 4 Nov. 2014.

Sociology. Boundless, n.d. Boundless.com. Web. 9 October 2014.

"Sociology Hub." Sociology Open Content. Web. 4 Nov. 2014.

The Hunger Games. Dir. Gary Ross. Perf. Jennifer Lawrence. Colore Force, 2012. DVD

Functionalism can be defined as a sociological theory structured at the macro-sociological level where institutions provide stability in society. The Functionalist views deviance as an extremely important function to society. Deviance helps society by showing society what is acceptable and what is not acceptable. These patterns of what is acceptable and what is not created through deviance support social stability. Deviance also creates stability in society by creating an us-versus-them view. The functionalist does not believe that radical, revolutionary change should occur. If this type of change occurs it destabilizes society, which is bad in the eyes of a functionalist. The functionalist believes that social change should occur in a more evolutionary perspective. A functionalist would agree on having reformative social movements. This kind of social movement is not for radical change but for small, minor changes instead (Boundless).
The Sociologically Examined Life
Chapter 6 of the TSEL (
The Sociologically Examined Life
) examines the behaviors of people depending on the group dynamics, beliefs, and what is considered 'normal' in different settings. The focus is being sociologically mindful of all of these factors before making judgements about others and their deviance. It also provides answers as to why it is hard to deviate from the group and create social change. In the Hunger Games from the outside, it is hard to see how any society, specifically the citizens within the Capitol, can approve of and support such a barbaric and heartless form of 'entertainment.' From our point of view, such views deviate greatly from the norm. Schwalbe maintains that one has to look at what is considered normal and consider all factors before making judgements on the character of individuals (Schwalbe, 104). For many of those in the Capitol, this life is all they know. It would be abnormal to be against the excitement of the Games as it is an annual tradition. It is also hard to promote social change in such a situation when most of the most powerful group fails to see the inhumanity of their normalcy and when the stakes are much higher if their is dissent. This is not unlike the Nazi Germany example used in TSEL. Schwalbe calls this complacency of citizens 'ordinary insanity' when they make what seems abhorrent normal.
Differential Association Theory- Deviance is a learned behavior. Crimes will be committed when the lines between right and wrong are blurred (Boundless)
Control Theory- Higher chance of deviation when bonds are not very strong between society and individual(s) (Boundless).
Katniss, Peeta, and Cinna have all demonstrated examples of this
Symbolic Interactionism
Symbolic interactionists view deviance and crime as a learned behavior from the individuals that are around them. There are various theories that can help explain how it is that certain people come to act against the grain of society. They often times use what is called the differential association to make sense of why it is that people are deviant and or commit crimes (Boundless). This theory maintains that people learn how to be deviant through interactions with others, and will commit crimes when their lines between law-abiding and law-breaking become blurred (Boundless). Katniss regularly goes out of her way to hunt for her family in the forest outside of the fences of district twelve. Even though this is illegal, she and other citizens of the district trade, sell, and hunt against the law as part of their daily routines. Much of this is done for survival. Even still, by this theory she has skewed the meanings of law-abiding and breaking due to her socialization by the people around her.
Symbolic Interactionism
Another way in which to analyze the actions performed in the movie is control theory. This theory proposes that individuals are more likely to deviate when there are weak bonds between the individual and society (Boundless). At the very end of the Hunger Games, rather than fighting to kill one another for the win (like they were supposed to do), Katniss and Peeta make a suicide pact in defiance of the Hunger Games. This shows that the Capitol’s grip on the two of them is not that strong and that they do not value the bonds of society enough to play into their games.
This also shows the beginning of the social change that their defiance has brought about. Cinna brought this into motion when he decided against making the tributes from district twelve look like coal miners but rather burning coals that signified a spark of social change. Even Katniss’s boldness at the reaping deviated from the standard and brought her into the spotlight of a revolution by refusing to let the one she loved die at the hands of the Captiol. These combined acts of defiance and rule breaking all helped plant, if not the seeds of a revolution, then the ideas that something should change.
By standing together in simple acts of defiance, we too can promote change in our society. Things like disrupting the peace at a formal or informal event or even coordinating a march can bring about change if you have the will to be defiant and recognize that our bonds to the injustices in society are not that strong.

Knowing how crime, deviance, and social change are present in
The Hunger Games
, we were able to use these examples and apply them to our society. We can also see how each perspective provides a different viewpoint to understand
The Hunger Games.

Functionalism shows us that in the movie
The Hunger Games
deviance is an important function to the society. The actual Hunger Games in the movie exists to show what should be accepted. Every district must compete in the Hunger Games to show their loyalty to the capitol. Anyone acting against the Hunger Games would be seen as deviant.

Conflict Theory shows us that
The Hunger Games
demonstrated the central idea of the conflict theorist perspective. This key theme was that to create social change, there must be conflict. In becoming a societal deviant, Katniss transformed the world of Panem and caused many of the districts to revolt against the oppressive capital. The oppression of the people of the districts by the capital was maintaining the stability of the community and Katniss’ actions enlightened the people within the district so they knew they could fight back against the obvious mistreatment they received, especially with their children being put into a “hunger games” each year.
Symbolic interactionists view deviance and crime as a learned behavior from the individuals that are around them. This can be seen in
The Hunger Games
when Katniss and Peeta make a suicide pact. This is an example of control theory and shows deviation when there are weak bonds between the individual and society.

The Feminist perspective showed us that Katniss did not follow the gender norms of Panem because she was filling the role of her father. This might explain why she was more willing to participate in criminal activities like going outside the wall. This can be related back to our society and that women who do not fit the given gender mold are more likely to engage in deviant behavior.

After looking at each theory thoroughly, Conflict Theory best explains crime, deviance, and social change in
The Hunger Games.
This is because most of the social change was created by conflicts that arose in Panem. Even though the citizens of Panem had to be deviant, the districts had to riot to have the social change they desired.
In general, Conflict Theory is macro-level and has to do with “class relations and conflict conflict”, meaning the only way to cause social change is through revolution, essentially, which is what the Hunger Games eventually causes (through the work of Katniss). Stability is produced through inequality and oppression of minority groups (inequality of the capitol vs. the districts).
Karl Marx: "society is in a state of perpetual conflict due to competition for limited resources" (can be related to the cornucopia) (Crossman 2).
Chapter 7 (Deviance, Crime) & Conflict Theory
In everyday language, to deviate means to stray from an accepted path.
Most theories of crime (especially the ones we have studied) are associated with Symbolic Interactionism or Functionalism…
Conflict theorists believe that all social change results from straying from the norm/causing a revolution; therefore, they encourage deviance for social change! This happens in the Hunger Games when Katniss and Peeta are about to eat the berries because they don’t want to kill one another. It also happens when Katniss volunteers for her sister near the beginning, is turned off by the selfish ways of the capitol, etc.
Chapter 21 (Social Change) & Conflict Theory
Social change refers to the alteration of social order in a society. Conflict theories highlight the forces producing instability, struggle and social disorganization. Every society rests on constraint of some of its members by others. The most famous and influential of the conflict theories is the one by Karl Marx and Engel in Communist Manifesto: 'all history is the history of class conflict.' History is the story of conflict between the exploiter and the exploited. This conflict repeats itself off and on until capitalism is overthrown by the workers and a socialist state is created. What is to be stressed here is that Marx and other conflict theorists deem society as basically dynamic and not static.
George Simmel too stressed the importance of conflict in social change. According to him conflict is a permanent feature of society and not just a temporary event. Continuous conflict in this way keeps society dynamic and ever changing (“Social Change” 7), In the Hunger Games, social change happens when the districts begin to revolt against the capital, mostly due to the influence of Katniss and Peeta within the Hunger Games.
The functionalist would not agree with the revolutionary changes beginning to happen and continuing to happen throughout the Hunger Games series. A good example of this is when Rue dies and her district rebels with riots. The Capitol, not wanting any radical change, then uses force to try to stop any rebelling or riots from happening. We can also see functionalism in our society clearly today. Just look at how much effort was put into making sure riots would not occur when the Michael Brown indictment was released.
The Functions of Crime
In the article “The Functions of Crime,” a functionalist analysis of crime and deviance is given. The article goes into detail about how crime is a necessary aspect in all societies and tries to make sense of why it is necessary and the benefits it might have. One of the benefits is that “crime itself may play a useful part in … evolution (Durkheim 176).” It helps people prepare for change if change is going to occur from the deviance. This can be seen in the Hunger Game. Many people had to break the laws that the capital imposed on the districts to make sure they did not starve. Often times there were harsh punishments for going outside of the fence or breaking any of the laws created by the capital. Thus when people would eventually revolt against the government, many where expecting this revolution and tried to prepare. Chapter 7 talks about structural strain theory which interprets deviance as originating in the tensions that exist in society between cultural goals and the means people have to achieve those goals. This can also be seen in the Hunger Games because the people in the later districts like District 12 don’t even have enough to survive.
Crime can also bring about social change. In chapter 21 collective behavior refers to social processes and events that do not reflect existing social structures, as they emerge in a spontaneous way. This can be seen when district 11 starts to riot over Rue’s death. These riots did not reflect the existing social structure and violated many laws and yet they still emerged spontaneously.
Feminist Theory and Crime and Deviance
One thing feminist have been looking into is juvenile crime. “Young men disproportionately commit juvenile delinquency. Feminist theorists and others have examined why this is the case. One suggestion is that ideas of masculinity may make young men more likely to offend. Being tough, powerful, aggressive, daring, and competitive becomes a way for young men to assert and express their masculinity. Alternatively, young men may actually be naturally more aggressive, daring, and prone to risk-taking (Chapter 7 Section 7 Juvenile Crime).” This can be seen in the Hunger Games with Gale’s willingness to participate in risky behaviors where Katniss cannot imagine taking part in these risky behaviors. Some of these behaviors include how Gale wants to run away from district 12 and how he believes that everyone should start a riot to protest the games.
Feminist Theory and Crime and Deviance
One theory that feminists use to try to explain crime is that women are limited in the crimes they can commit because they usually have to take up the role of taking care of the children. Women are socialized into embracing the social norm that they are gentle and caring. (Feminism and Crime) This can be seen in the Hunger Games, where Katniss does not take on the role of being a young women but rather takes on the role of her father when he dies. This could possibly explain why she is more willing to engage in crime like hunting outside of the fence and selling items on the black market. Taking the role of her father, Katniss steps out of the gender norms. She is often on the outside of these norms (Hunger Games). Feminist see this as a good thing (Class notes).
Feminist Theory and Crime and Deviance
In the real world, often crime is more of a male thing then a female thing. This is because society often sees women as more nurturing and not as violent. The criminal justice system is not really used to control women. Women often only commit violent crimes because they are helping a boyfriend or husband commit these crimes or they will commit these crimes against an abusive boyfriend or husband (Class notes).
Feminist Theory and Social Change
Feminist tries to achieve gender equality and with these attempts, many social movements have come to be. “The most important strategy to achieve [“gender equality and the empowerment of women”] was considered to be "gender mainstreaming " which incorporates both equity and equality, that is that both women and men should "experience equal conditions for realizing their full human rights, and have the opportunity to contribute and benefit from national, political, economic, social and cultural development (Sociology Chapter 21 Section 3 Gender and Social Movements).” First wave feminism focused on gaining the right to vote. Then second wave feminism focused on more inequalities then first wave feminism. Finally third wave feminism focuses on the failures of second wave feminism. (Sociology Chapter 21 Section 3 Gender and Social Movements)
Feminist Theory and Social Change
Panem probably did not have another wave of feminism because many of the inequalities genders face today still exist in Panem. This can be seen in how the women are primary the care givers in the family. Women that did take on tasks that are more suited for males often did so to survive (Hunger Games). This can be seen in real life because often people still want to hold the tradition of the nuclear family and that the wife stays home. People who deviate from this norm often do it to help bring extra income into the house.
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