Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Deviant Behavior In The Movie "Instinct"

        For my meditate on deviance, I will consult the fictive motion picture Instinct. Using Labeling Theory as my central perspective, I propose to identify just what is delineate as degenerate about the films main character, Dr. Ethan Powell (played by Anthony Hopkins), as well as how the individuals society check up ons and perpetuates this perceived deviance. Finally, I plan to discuss the overtly presented cause of deviance in Dr. Powells incomparable representative, which is ultimately unearthed by his psychologist, Dr. Theo Caulder (Cuba Gooding).

Before attempting to discuss or develop Dr. Powells deviance, I will briefly discuss just what it nitty-gritty to adhere to a Labeling Theory of deviance. This theory is a classic example of the broader school of thought: constructionism. In essence, constructionism focuses its queries on reactions to sure behaviours rather than the actual behaviors themselves. For example, a constructionist would deny that certain behaviors argon inherently unnatural; pointing to research that indicates that oftentimes deviance in superstar culture is defined as the norm in another. (Constructionism) represented social life in terms of a dialectic between social action and social building¦ (Craib 3). Therefore, a key distinction of this approach is its perspective on what phenomena needs to be explained. While traditional social theories know focused their energies on explaining wherefore an individual engages in deviant behavior, constructionism asks why the society has come to define his or her behavior as deviant.

Within this constructionist framework, Labeling Theory focuses on the stigmatizing labels that society attaches to slightly of its members, and how these labels have an effect on the individuals subsequent interactions. From a little sociological perspective, this theoretical orientation asserts that condemnation of certain behaviors in all probability generates additional deviance. Those individuals who atomic number 18 stigmatized by a congregation are prone to act in accordance with their social labels in a self- fulfilling prophecy. The subjective experience of the actor (the labeled deviant) is a dimension that positivists fail to address, and which appeals to me as an important aspect of explaining deviance.

The socially defined deviant in the film Instinct is Dr. Powell. The origin anthropology professor had disappeared into a Rwandan jungle to live among mountain gorillas so that he may conduct research on this species in their natural environment. Upon becoming immersed in his study, he acquired an admiration for the subjects lifestyle that he describes as if he was coming back to fewthing that (he) had disoriented a long time ago. In essence, the survival skills and frantic bonds that he had inninged during the two years of coexistence with the gorillas (combined with a omit of serviceman interaction) led him to believe that he was a gorilla. His original behavior and unkempt appearance reflected this apparition, and his delusions were only when reaffirmed by societys cold-blooded treatment. For example, upon his capture and return to America he was imprison houseed for a retaliation attack on a Rwandan who had killed a gorilla. He was caged and treated like a beast- subdued with tasers, heavily medicated, and brutalized by prison guards. Other inmates referred to him as ape man, and sluice the psychologist assigned to assess his mental condition described the case of Dr. Powell as an opportunity to understand man in its close to primitive, ungoverned state. Indeed, institutional actors may require notions of a ?type in order to execute their work, may draw upon these notions in responding to and treating these subjects, and in turn, may interpret subjects behaviors in accordance with the typification (Fox 436). The contact social environment labeled Dr. Powell as a deviant- a kook who behaved and acted like a wild beast, and in reply he demonstrated continuing acts of deviance. He physically attacked prison guards and became socially inept by refusing to talk and displaying contempt for gentleman beings. The self- fulfilling prophecy phase of the Labeling Theory was complete. While there is no doubt that it is statistically deviant for a civilized human to adopt the mindset of a wild animal, much of Dr. Powells deviant behavior following his capture was a direct head of the stigma that society had attached to his name.

Already described were some methods of social control- the prison administered medication, and threatened with tasers- but one of the virtually significant methods of manipulation is symbolized by a playing card. Since only one inmate is allowed outdoor recreation time per day, guards would give off a playing card to each prisoner. On both given day, the inmate who was fortunate enough to receive the brainiac of hearts card had earned himself a half an bit in a courtyard. While the prison staff had deemed this a fair method of privilege distribution, it chose to ignore the fights that would inevitably shatter out amongst the prisoners over this particular card. As long as Dr. Powell and his fellow prisoners sought freedom- if even for a half minute of arc each day- the ace of hearts was the prisons asset for social control over these labeled deviants.

The true cause of Dr. Powells behavioral qualify is revealed to Dr. Caulder after he is able to persuade his case study to speak for the first time in years. The underlying nucleotide of Dr. Powells explanation for his cognitive makeover is his admiration of the simpler life offered by the pristine existence. In this African forest, he claimed to have found sleep of mind and kinship among the species.

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In an ironic twist, despite expense his entire life as a member of the schoolman community he slowly began to reject conventional schooling, quite choosing to master the ability to achieve harmony with the natural world. When asked why he insisted on leading a life among gorillas sooner of human civilization, he responds that humans are the fool: one day in an American city poses more risk of infection than a lifetime in the jungle. He refers to humans as set outrs, and all but implies that the gorillas that he had encountered were a superior form of being. Human beings are fools because they take more food than they need, take more land than they could use, he reasons, and live with the joke that they are owners of the earth. According to one general theory of deviant behavior, where the ?deviant behavior is not learned as appropriate inwardly the context of ones membership groups, the deviant behavior (including social kick activities) is motivated, and under certain conditions is performed as a self- enhancing response to self- disparagement resulting from previous experiences of failure and rejection in conventional membership group (Kaplan and Liu 596). After experiencing life among the gorillas, Dr. Powell came to understand that in attempting to achieve clarified happiness among the membership group that is human beings, failure was imminent. However, American societal convention dictates that such sentiments of helplessness reflect a textbook example of cognitive deviance, and he is labeled accordingly.

It is overhaul that Dr. Ethan Powell had found happiness and an inner peace among the gorillas of the African jungle. His unreserved behavior was a direct result of the spiritual judgment that he had gained from these wild beasts, but unfortunately it had also be him dearly. It was not until he was captured and re- socialized into American culture that he had felt despair. He had been labeled a deviant just for attempting to achieve what every human being seeks: a bump at pure, unfettered happiness.

Works Cited Craib, Ian (1997). Social Constructionism as a Social Psychosis.

Sociology Volume 31 none 1 1-15.

        Goode, Erich (2001). deviate Behavior (Sixth Edition) Prentice Hall, Inc.

Fox, Kathryn J. (1999). Reproducing Criminal Types: Cognitive Treatment for lashing Offenders in Prison.

Sociological Quarterly Volume 40 No. 3-4 435-453.

        Kaplan, H.B. and Liu, X. (2000). Social Protest and Self- Enhacement: A Conditional Relationship.

Sociological meeting place Volume 15 No. 4 595-616.

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