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Portrayal of Relationships in Disney Movies

Sociology Presentation
by

Emily Ashbaugh

on 1 December 2010

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Transcript of Portrayal of Relationships in Disney Movies

Focus: The Portrayal of Relationships
in Disney Movies:
A Look From the Three Sociological Perspectives Our Six Disney Princess Favorites: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Cinderella The Little Mermaid Sleeping Beauty Aladdin Beauty and the Beast Walt Disney's first movie, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, was a major hit that earned him a positive reputation and led to an entire industry of entertainment for children. Relationships are a primary focus in every movie plot. For these six movies,
each princess figure
encounters a central conflict
that is the storyline of the
movie. Consistently through
each, the women overcome the struggle, find love, and live happily ever after. Example 1: Example 2: In Cinderella, the main character is a young woman mistreated by her step-family. To find happiness, her fairy godmother helps make her over so she can attend the ball where she meets her prince. For Ariel of The Little Mermaid, the struggle is between her loyalty to her father or the temptation of life on land. In the end, she pleases both parties and ends up marrying her prince. This same theme of women being rescued from the conflict by love is consistent in the other four films as well. Other persistent characteristics
Each male role is initially attracted to the princesses because of superficial characteristics.
In four of the six movies, love's power breaks a spell, most often in the form of a kiss.
Half of the movies represent relationships that cross class boundaries where the prince or princess falls in love with a person in a lower class. These qualities represent the views of American society... ...
1. Looks are important, especially in finding relationships
2. Love is a powerful bond that can overcome many obstacles
3. Love cannot be restrained by class or race. However, a common trait in relationships in America is for people to date others with similar backgrounds. According to the Population Bureau, 9% of white people married outside of their race in 2008. Also, in Mary Lamanna's book, Marriages and Families: Making Choices in a Diverse Society, she explains that humans feel the most confortable with others who share a common "education, social class, and racial/ethnic backgrounds" because these qualities form other characteristics such as "attitudes, mannerisms, and vocabulary." Functionalist Perspective: Symbolic Interactionist Perspective: Conflict Theory Perspective: From this perspective, since every part in society plays a role in its existance, Disney movies also play a role. The views protrayed in these movies are part of the reason they are still accepted today. To keep socities values consistent, we must teach them to upcoming generations. As an aspect of society, the movies create manifest and latent functions Manifest
The movies intent to provide entertainment for viewers and to support children's learning of proper behavior such as morals and values.
The movies show that good triumphs over bad.
Latent
The attitude toward love encourages a continuation in our youth of American society's views.
The behavior of the princes and princesses reveals what some of the important qualities are in a mate (appearance, kindness). Disney princess movies help children to develop a definition of relationships which helps them to discover how our society defines relationships. Another important part of this theory is the importance of symbols. Early on, these movies show the prince riding in on a horse. In our society, a man on horseback is often linked to romance or love. The issues of race, gender, and class are all present in Disney princess movies. Gender
In the first two, Snow White and Cinderella, the women must overcome oppression with the help of a man.
In three of the four movies following, the women are Princess from the beginning of the movie, but still require a mans help to overcome her dilemma. Race
Aladdin is the most recent of the six but was the first to attempt diversity with Jasmine and Aladdin of Arabic race. All six movies represent racial inequality, however, because each couple is of the same race.
Class
In all but one of the movies, the women begin in a completely different class than her future prince.
Although American society and the Disney movies suggest that people from defferent classes can fall in love, the conflict theory disagrees. Disney movies exemplify American society in the way they portray relationships and romance. Society continues to embrace the values represented in the movies. Each Sociological perspective views the effect the movies have on society taking different characteristics into account which, when viewed together, create an important perspective on the ways of society.
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