In the current world, there are conflicts all over. The conflicts that people experience every day have become a fundamental part of life. However, there are different kinds of conflict which may be amid cultures, race, and so forth, something that is both serious and difficult at the same time. The film Crash by director Paul Harris, is one that illustrates the concept of conflict, especially when it comes to racism and class. This film brings to light the story of some interrelated characters. It is a story with the setting in Los Angeles, a place that is known to host diverse groups of people. In such settings, one may find that there exist some barriers and the people that walk the streets or even living there. The title of the film is an illustration of how in such a setting, there is a tendency of people bumping into each other and accidents occurring all the time. Therefore it depicts the crash, which is physical as well as mental crashes. Good examples of the many crashes are racial, social, class, and cultural types. Various groups are struggling amid the conflicts and harmony. This assignment will focus on the sociological analysis of the film Crash based on the conflict theory and through the multifactorial and intersectional analysis of race, gender, and class.
In the conflict theory, there is the idea of the “rich versus the poor,” the “right versus the wrong,” the “powerful versus the, and so forth. The thing that all these groups have in common is negative as it is the conflict that lies therein. Even though the conflict may have come by through social status or other challenges among the individuals, it is something that is there so as to gain control over some other people. Things like unfair wages, injustice, unethical, and immoral ways of prosperity usually tend to lead up to such situations. This persistent battle of the classes whereby the poor and the minority feel as if they are powerless is given impetus day in day out through various manners. The conflict theory is a concept which was brought forth with the intent of off-shooting the labeling theory. The main idea behind it is that the rich have the control and dominance within the society over the poor and people considered of s lesser status and this affects that manner in which resources are shared, perspectives are shaped, and attitudes are formed(Williams & McShane, n.p).
In the film crash, there is a lot of racism that is noted across a number of days. In this film, the characters display all forms of racist behavior, and then they get a revelation that transforms their perspective regarding race(Dei, p.13).In this case, there is no particular conflict theory that can best describe the racism that occurs, however, there are multiple kinds of conflict theories that come to play when explaining the behavior that takes place within the film.
The first kind of conflict theory is radical criminology. Here, we find that within the film, the characters of Peter and Anthony, who are portrayed as bourgeoisie who are usually oppressed and left without opportunities or otherwise hope. For instance, there is a shopkeeper named Fahrad who through hopelessness, he decides to move to criminality. This is the result after this character feels that the system has failed him and favored those that are considered of a different class. There is also a highlight of the Chambliss’ theory, where there is a perception that the upper and the middle-class individuals are the ones that get better treatment when it comes to punishment and this is brought forth through Cameron who is a movie director coupled with Tom Hansen. In this case, Cameron due to his success is let go by the police while Anthony is one that is uncomfortable in the front seat thinking that if he were discovered, then his luck would not have been the same as he would have been arrested.
Feminist criminology is also another version of the conflict theory where it is noted that Christine is arrested and therefore, reacts in an outburst through anger. She is stripped of any dignity that she has through molestation by the law officers. In this case, there is the power and control that is mostly seen on the ones that have the power when it comes to the law.here, some strong gender issues are noted as well as Christine is also a subordinate when it comes to her husband who neither protects her dignity. This is similar to Jean, who takes a back seat in her husband’s career who was a district attorney that was more concerned of the robbery that he underwent through the hands of black men.
In other instances, the Instrumental Marxism is also noted through the poor within the film. There are characters like Anthony and Peter, who are victims of the police oppression as Peter is shot by a policeman due to Peter’s beliefs after mocking him (Shujah, p. 149). As well, there is a note of the level of corruption, manipulation, control, and bias that is noted within the police force which is something that drives the twisted kind of justice that they hand over to some of the racial characters and groups. As well, there is the use of the justice system to lay a domineering hand on the poor as opposed to creating harmony and providing justice.
I also noted the critical criminology in the Jean who was robbed at gunpoint went forth to assume things regarding the tattoos and oversized clothing which Daniel has put on, therefore, demanding a change of her locks. This character is one who clearly displays the existence of the class that is considered controlling in the society as she is a snob who tries to control the people she considered of lesser class.
From this movie, I can say that most of the people that omitted crimes are those that work out of desperation and the manner of scarce resources which are available to them. However, in the real sense, the real criminals appear to be based within the legal front coupled with the rich elite who made sure to turn against the innocent through cover-ups, manipulations, lies, deceit, murders, exploitation, extortion and other forms of deviant acts.
Crash (2004) has, therefore, satisfied the intent that it was created to achieve as it has brought to light some of the many controversial sociological issues in the current society. The particular focus of the assignment above has been in the aspect of the race, gender, and class stratification that is seen within the film. It is in conclusion that the stratification that exists within the movie is based on the division of people with respect to their social-economic backgrounds and various perceptions that have led up to stereotypes in society. The use of sociological, race and the aspect of ethnicity is relevant in the demonstration of viewership of the difference across various strata. While watching this film, most would support the fact that times have changed from the era of slavery and colonization but I fail to see this assumption as there are still reports of police profiling, racial discrimination, issues related to whiteness and so forth within the society today.
Shujah , S. CHAPTER EIGHT: Personal But Not Political: A Critical Analysis of the Movie” Crash’s” Educational Potential. Counterpoints, 2008. Vol. 339, CRASH POLITICS AND ANTIRACISM: Interrogations of Liberal Race Discourse (2008), pp. 147-159.
Dei, GJS. CHAPTER ONE:” Crash” and the Relevance of an Anti-racism Analytical Lens. Counterpoints, 2008. Vol. 339, CRASH POLITICS AND ANTIRACISM: Interrogations of Liberal Race Discourse (2008), pp. 13-23.
Sutherland, EH., Williams, FP., & McShane, MD. Differential association. Edwin Sutherland: On Analyzing Crime, 2015.
YouTube Movies. Crash (2004). 2009. https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=durNwe9pL0E