“A Class Divided”

After watching the movie “A Class Divided” I was quite intrigued. I had read a book once called Black Like Me. It was about a white man who wanted to see first hand what it was like being a black man in the south. This movie was along those same lines. The interesting aspect of this movie, was that it was done with pre adolescent children. This movie was pioneering for its time since it was done in the early 70’s when bigotry was still a topic in many American homes. I did think it was interesting when the children of the class (mostly the boys) spoke up about how loosly discussed it was within their families.
When the children were divided amongst their eye colors, the reactions were quite amazing to see. Instantly, they turned on one another, just because an adult instilled that the opposite eye color was bad or no good. I also liked how the children of that class got together 14 years later to watch the film and discuss how that experiment changed their lives. This teacher and her experiment had a very strong impression on those children to have adults want to relive that time in their lives. For some of those former students it was very powerful because they expressed with raw emotion how they felt those days in the classroom and on the playground.
This reminded me very much so of the Stanford Prison Experiment. This was a very powerful and highly influential study in the field of psychology to explain how people react or what roles they will take when given those shoes to fill. Milgram had to cut the experiment short due to the emotionally violent and tramautizing effects the “guards” had on the “prisoners”.
Human beings are sponges, regardless of age. Both of these studies show this first hand. One is on a sociological level, while the other is psychological. However, both are showing the same reactions of people whether you are a 3rd grader or a college student. The beginning of this semester we were told that we needed to be better critical thinkers because not too many people think as critically as we should. I couldn’t agree more with this statement.

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One Response to “A Class Divided”

  1. lmertic says:

    After reading my post I would like to clarify one thing I said. I mentioned that in the 70’s bigotry was still talked about in homes. I’m sure it is still a topic of conversation in homes today. What I meant by that statement was that at that time, it was an open topic of conversation regardless of being politically correct or not.

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