The Pursuit of Happyness portrays prejudice and racism

Chris battles dominant ideology to obtain his goal

“Would you move my car? It would really help me out.”

“I’m pretty sure I can do it.”

“No you can’t.”

These three quotes from the movie, The Pursuit of Happyness reinforce the hegemonic practices of racism and prejudice.  By racism I mean the way in which one group suppresses another group through daily action, or inaction in some cases, as a means of maintaining the system of hegemony.  In this sense, racism focuses on the micro scale of individual’s and group’s actions.  On a macro scale, prejudice is a group’s historical beliefs toward another group that makes them inferior based on bias and stereotyping.  You may be wondering how The Pursuit of Happyness relates to these practices.  Let’s revisit the quotes from above.  In the first quote, Mr. Frakesh asks Chris to park his car on the other side of the street due to street sweepers.  Despite Chris informing Mr. Frakesh he has “a green light from Walter Ribbon,” regarding Chris’ internship work, Mr. Frakesh cuts him off saying how he is late for a presentation.  This relates to racism since Chris is singled out from all the other interns, probably because he is African American and everyone else appears to be a member of the dominant society, to get Mr. Frakesh whatever he wants. Continue reading

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Swiffer Sweeper Idealizes Hegemonic Culture

Morty are you listening?

“Did you notice how clean it looks? Morty, are you listening?”  We have all experienced a moment when we are in a conversation and the other person stops listening.  This phenomenon in society is so common that when it occurs in advertisements we can recall a similar experience.  This is the power of media.  Social media provides powerful examples that reinforce hegemony in society. Hegemony is dominance by a class or gender over another.  This power can be coerced upon society as something that is acceptable so much so that it is seen as the way the world functions.  However, this can result in long term damage for society’s members who are not a member of the elite and powerful.  Typically, American culture power is centralized around patriarchy.  This is evident in society since the gender wage gap makes women’s earnings 0.77 cents to a man’s dollarContinue reading