Monday, July 10, 2017

Hollywood And Stereotypes Of America

In Australia, many people believe that America is a violent country. That is because all they’ve seen of America is movies about gangsters and mafiosis. I tell them that America is a big country, and that some parts are violent and others are not.
The probable reason why so many American movies are about gangsters and mafiosis is that they provide people a vicarious enjoyment of lifestyles that they would never dream of living themselves. Most Americans live fairly boring lives, and they get from these movies the stimulation in danger and chaos that they would never allow themselves. They provide an adrenaline rush and an experience of dangerous lifestyles. At the same time they portray the people in these movies as bad guys. The person gets the stimulation that his life lacks, while also being lead to see himself as a better person than people who live such lifestyles.
When people are raised in a protective setting, they often seek out danger and chaos as part to liberation. We see this especially with the flapper generation and the baby boomers, who were raised in the protective households of respectively the Victorian generation and the World War II generation. One way to avoid large-scale social movements such as those of 1920s and 1960s is to provide for such needs vicariously; and one way to make lots of money while doing the same is to make movies about mafia and gangs.
Is America a violent country? Definitely not more so than Russia or Australia, where violence is frequently extreme but is contained within the home. You make such judgment calls based on what you see. For that matter many Americans think that Russians are unethical. That is because all they’ve seen of Russians are the mafia and the mafia-influenced business culture. If they knew Russian teachers or doctors or engineers, they would have a different view.

Do not get the view of the country from the things that are most visible. Look deeper. You will find things that are unexpectedly good and things that are unexpectedly bad. That is the case with America. That is also the case with Australia or Russia.


Post a Comment

<< Home