Observation techniques: film analysis

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This week, you will analyze a three- to five-minute segment of a movie or a television episode depicting cultural diversity and gender issues.

After watching the movie segment, create a report on your analysis. In your r eport:

  • Mention the name of the movie.
  • Describe the setting and overall storyline of the movie.
  • Describe the main characters in the observed movie section.
  • Describe the situation that you analyzed and interpret the action of the characters depicting cultural diversity and gender issues.
  • Draw conclusions based on social psychological concepts and theories.

Cultural Traditions and Diversity.html

Cultural Traditions and Diversity

Psychological Tests and Cultural Diversity

When discussing cultural diversity, the question that arises is, What is the difference between studying cultural traditions and diversity and studying the stereotypes about individuals and groups from different ethnic or racial backgrounds? From a social

psychological perspective, one of the most significant challenges in studying cultural diversity is to effectively conduct and evaluate psychological testing.

Let’s take a look at some of the psychological tests used to understand this challenge.

Intelligence tests, such as the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale, Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, and Slosson Intelligence Test, relied heavily on verbal responses to situational questions that used terms familiar to some groups, such as white middle-class U.S. citizens, but unfamiliar to some groups belonging to different cultures.

The Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT) was designed to test verbal abilities in children and adults. The challenge in PPVT was that the test items included pictures of objects familiar to white middle-class U.S. citizens but unfamiliar to groups or individuals belonging to different cultures.

Restrepo, Schwanenflugel, Blake, Neuharth-Pritchet, Cramer, and Ruston (2006) compared the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-Third Edition (PPVT-III) and the Expressive Vocabulary Test (EVT) to analyze which was more effective in measuring the vocabulary skills of preschool children.

The study found that African American children tended to score lower on the tests than European American children. The results showed that the differences were not due to the children’s actual vocabulary skills but due to the differences in how the tests measured those skills. The researchers concluded that the misinterpretation of results can lead to misdiagnosing a language disorder. Therefore, they suggested that when interpreting the results of such tests, alternative measures that take the dynamics of cultural and ethnic diversity into account should be used.

Restrepo, M., Schwanenflugel, P., Blake, J., Neuharth-Pritchet, S., Cramer, S., & Ruston, H. (2006). Performance on the PPVT-III and the EVT: Applicability of the measures with African American and European American preschool children. Language, Speech, & Hearing Services in Schools, 37(1), 17–27.


Gender and Social Norms.html

Gender and Social Norms

There are obvious physical differences between men and women. But other than mating rituals and procreating, why do we need to identify what defines a man and a woman? One such area that has the stringently established norms on gender is sports. The differences between the physical abilities required for various sports are only part of the reason for differentiating sports for men and women. A more substantial reason for this differentiation, at least in the United States, are cultural norms and traditions.

Let’s discuss an example to understand gender norms in sports.

Example: Gender Norms

The movie A League of Their Own provides insight into gender norms in sports during the 1940s. The movie is loosely based on the true story of the All-American Professional Girls Baseball League (1943 to the mid-1950s). The movie shows that the United States experienced a decline in professional baseball during World War II, leading to the start of an all-women professional baseball league. These female ballplayers were expected to act like ladies on and off the field.

The main character, Dottie (played by Geena Davis), was probably the best player in the league. She was a housewife who played baseball while her husband was fighting in the war.

Her antagonist was her own sister, Kit (played by Lori Petty). Kit was a person who wanted more out of life than just milking cows.

The climax of the movie shows Dottie and Kit playing for opposing teams in the championship. Toward the end of the game, Dottie drops the ball and Kit slides into home plate for the winning run. Dottie, held responsible for the team’s loss, is rebuked by the spectators. This criticism forces Dottie to quit playing and go back to her previous role of a housewife, while Kit continues to play baseball.



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