“The Breakfast Club” Analysis

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The Breakfast Club (1985) Demonstrates “behind the scenes” of high school stereotypes and Power Structures (stereotypes given) in Social Hierarchies (principle of high school). This film shows how social labeling and social acceptance can be overcome through equality among all. Howard Becker (1963) – Outsiders: Studies in the Sociology of DevianceGeorge Herbert Mead (1931) – Mind, Self and SocietyThe Breakfast Club (1985) – John HughesI studied this media through re-reading the chapter/power-points and re-watching the movie. I found a few different theories and sociologists who study similar behaviors shown in this movie.Content Analysis:The labeling theory questions why not all people in society, that are accountable and act upon others, are viewed as deviant. Labeling theory looks at how labeling affects/effects each other/society.

Howard Becker in 1963 developed a label theory – Social Reaction Theory. Social Acceptance, Rebellion and DefianceSocial IdentityEthics of Study: Labeling theory is shown in Bender from the Breakfast Club. Everyone in Bender’s life viewed him as a horrible and deviant person. Bender, who imitates his father frequently, says: “Stupid, worthless, no good, goddamn, freeloading son of a bitch. Retarded, big mouth, know-it-all, asshole, jerk.”Bender is viewed as a difficult student, son and teenager. Examples: “The Criminal”, “The Bad Boy”, “Pot-Head”, “Rebel”, “Bully” and “Punk”. He is disruptive and unpleasant. Bender has to withhold the reputation he has been given and is “forced” to act this role in society even if he is acting/faking it. Like Andy, the jock of the foot ball team. There is a desire to believe you are better than another person, this leads to negative stereotyping and the loss of identity. This is shown through his actions in the library and how he puts a front up with students. Example: Bender throws things at Claire (school sweat-heart), he laughs at her and bullies her.

Behind the scene, when he takes his mask off, he is in love with Claire. But instead of acting upon his true feelings he gives into the labeling theory. The teenagers hid in the hallways to get marijuana from Bender’s locker. After they smoked they exposed secrets that eventually would help the students create a “bond”.Each one of them has issues with their parents and family members. Example: Brian (nerd) wanted to commit suicide because of the pressure he gets from his parents to succeed academically. Bender’s father abuses him both physically and verbally. The five students learn these problems and accept them, creating trust and equality among each other. “The fear of rejection causes a person to conform to a new set of standards.” Social acceptance effects people and parties of all ages and gendersBrian (nerd) writes a letter to Principal Vernon telling him that he is crazy for expecting them to write letters telling him: “who they are”. When really: he will always see them how he wants to see them, in the simplest stereotypical terms. Brian explains: what they found out was all five students were a brain, an athlete, a basket-case, a princess, a criminal. Signs letter: “The Breakfast Club.” The fear of rejection causes a person/community to obey new standards –Leading to a lack of social acceptance, effecting people/communities of all ages.

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What does The Breakfast Club ending mean?
The Breakfast Club ending is ambiguous, but it seems to suggest that the characters have learned something about themselves and each other and that they will be better off for it.
What is the main message of The Breakfast Club?
The Breakfast Club is a movie about five high school students from different social groups who are forced to spend a Saturday together in detention. They eventually become friends and realize that they are more alike than they are different.
Why is The Breakfast Club so important?
The Breakfast Club is so important because it is one of the most popular and influential films of the 1980s. The film helped to define the teenage experience for a generation of moviegoers.
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