Social Interactionism Theory in "Ordinary People" Analytical Essay by Kimberly

Social Interactionism Theory in "Ordinary People"
This paper applies social interactionism theory to the character of Conrad in the film "Ordinary People" directed by Robert Redford.
# 154063 | 2,078 words | 1 source | 2014 | US


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From the Paper:

"Symbolic interactionism theory involves the messages and feedback, both verbal and nonverbal, that we receive from parents, siblings, peers, coworkers, teachers and the media which shape and affect our self-concept. Our self-concept, or self- perception, is made up of self-esteem, how we feel about ourselves, and self-image, the picture we have of ourselves. There are three types of messages we can receive from others. Confirmation occurs when others agree with the established perceptions we have of ourselves, either positive or negative. Rejection is the opposite. It occurs when others disagree with the established perceptions we have of ourselves, either positive or negative.
"Disconfirmation occurs when others make you feel irrelevant or unimportant. This type of message is always negative. It can be sent verbally or non-verbally and is perhaps the most dangerous of the response styles. This paper will apply social interactionism theory to the character of Conrad in the film "Ordinary People.
"Conrad and his mother, Beth, have a complicated relationship. After the death of his brother, Buck, and Conrad's subsequent suicide attempt, Beth has a hard time showing affection towards Conrad. She seems to care only about appearances and will not acknowledge the difficult time her son is going through. After arriving home late at night, Beth goes straight to bed, breezing past Conrad's bedroom where the light is still on. It is his father, Calvin, who checks on him. The next morning at breakfast, Calvin asks Conrad if he is hungry. He responds, "no," but Beth puts a plate of food in front of him anyway, ignoring his answer. This action is disconfirmation. She does not care if he is hungry or not. It is breakfast time and he should eat. In her mind, that is what families do and his response is irrelevant. She doesn't listen to the people around her and this sends the message that they are not important. The mother does not show any affection toward Conrad. Twice during the film he hugs her and she is stiff and unresponsive, looking like a deer in the headlights. Conrad must feel rejected by his mother if she cannot reciprocate a simple hug. After school one day, Conrad tries to have a conversation with his mother. They talk briefly about swimming while she inchesaway, towards her bedroom door."

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APA Format

Social Interactionism Theory in "Ordinary People" (2014, November 06) Retrieved December 13, 2018, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/social-interactionism-theory-in-ordinary-people-154063/

MLA Format

"Social Interactionism Theory in "Ordinary People"" 06 November 2014. Web. 13 December. 2018. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/social-interactionism-theory-in-ordinary-people-154063/>

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