In the heart-warming story of Michael Oher, a nearly homeless teenager who turned into a professional football player in the National Football League for the Baltimore Ravens, many sociology concepts that were covered throughout the class in Principles of Sociology 101 can be seen throughout the movie, The Blind Side A wealthy, compassionate woman named Leigh Anne Tuohy (the woman who decides to help Michael) who has high values and religious beliefs crosses across social classes in order to help the desperate teenager Michael Oher by giving him a place to stay which led to so much more. The concepts that are covered in the movie, The Blind Side include disparities in education, disparities in the criminal justice system, disparities in income and wealth, racism and ethnicities in poverty, and how social structure is balanced across urban cities Statistically, throughout America there is a difference between racial group annual incomes.
For example, according to the US Census Bureau (2011), the median household income from 1967 to 2010 shows that white people (not Hispanic) made a median income of $54,620 while black people made a median income of $32,068. This statistic can be seen in the very beginning of The Blind Side when Michael Oher was riding in the car with his friend’s dad to visit the coach of a religious high school football team. While they were driving, they were in a poverty-stricken area where its racial group was primarily black people, There were homeless people, gentlemen’s club, a falling down house, etc. The farther that they drive the better the living conditions seem to be For example, as they drive along you see a group of primarily white people playing baseball together with nice houses surrounding the park making the transition from one end of town (the poverty side) to the middle and upper-class side of town.
The baseball game is a family/friend orientated event which doesn’t represent where Michael came from by any means at alL When Michael and Steven eventually arrive at the school, the friend Steven says, “not even locked”, and then Michael Oher responds with, “white people are crazy.” They are referring to how the basketballs aren’t locked up because where they come from in a high crime neighborhood, they would have likely been stolen and in the wealthy, white area, they don’t have to worry about thieves as much, This is a good example of where the two teenagers came from and where they ended up just by driving from one end of town to the other, Furthermore, the stereotyped element is present throughout the movie The father of Steven is trying to get his son and Michael into a private school.
He is using the “can play ball” card to help his son and Michael get into the school Black people are generally known to be exceptional athletes and Steven’s father is using the coach’s lack of success in the previous season to win his son and Michael a spot which would help them get admitted into school there As explained in the movie, when the administration of the high school was debating on whether or not to admit Michael Oher into the school, Michael Oher‘s education deficit was brought up. Michael had attended multiple schools and each time the teachers just gave him a “D grade” to “pass him along; they gave him D’s so they could hand their problems off to the next school” The racial, and demographic divide was present in this situation as well, The coach said, “I‘ll tell you, most kids with his background wouldn’t come within 200 miles of this place.”
This is showing how different the cultures are from one side of town to the other and how broken the inner city schools are A graph in The Sociology Project 2.0 shows the diversity between white and black people in terms of people who completed a high school and bachelor degree White people as of 2010 have around a 90% high school diploma whereas black people have around an 85% completion rate, While this is not a significant difference, between 1980 and 2010, blacks‘ rates of high school completion have risen by almost two—thirds and college rates have almost doubled. White bachelor’s degree percentages are around 35% whereas black is almost at 20%. The movie examines Michael’s test scores repeatedly His scores were typically almost non-existent, like when an administrator tells Michael’s savor, Leigh Anne Tuohy, “Spatial Relations: 3rd percentile,” it is showing how bad his test scores are and he also had a cumulative grade point average of .
The schools where Michael went previously did not compare to the religious school that he ended up at as far as preparing students for higher education goes or even education at allt Michael’s previous education at inner-city schools was likely influenced by his home life because of where he lived, Michael’s mother was a drug addict and drunk her whole life based off of the social worker telling Leigh Anne Tuohy about Michael‘s previous family life. He says that Michael was forcibly removed from his mother by an officer when he was 7 years old When Leigh Anne Tuohy asks how many children Michael’s mother has, the social worker says, “at least a dozen probably, if not more With her drug arrest record my guess is she can‘t even remember.”
At the beginning of the movie, a social worker comes and speaks to Michael at the high school He tells him that they had positively identified a man to be Michael’s father. This goes to show how Michael‘s home life affected his education before he moved in with the wealthy Tuohys. Poverty and crime is ever present throughout the movie. Just like explained previously, when Leigh Anne Tuohy takes Michael to see his mother, they drive through the ghetto where poverty is apparent and also possible gang affiliation members are located. For example, when Michael gets out and Leigh Anne Tuohy starts to get out of the car, he shuts her door and locks the door before leaving her.
He told her not to get out being that she is a white, attractive woman driving a BMW in a poor neighborhood where some of Michael’s previous acquaintances are hanging out A sociology term that The Sociology Project 20 calls in “a concentration of poverty” which is defined as an urban ghetto that is associated with high levels of violence, homelessness, joblessness, and welfare receipt. When Michael appears at his mother’s door, it has an eviction notice This also demonstrates how in poor areas such as Hurt Village (Michael’s community name), people may go from house to house. The next scene is where Leigh Anner Tuohy takes Michael Oher shopping for some clothes being that he only has two T—tshirts, She says, “I’ve lived in Memphis my whole life and I haven’t ever been here.”
Furthermore, later on when Leigh Anne Tuohy is having an $1800 salad with her friends, she asks if they have ever been on “the other side of town (Alabama St and Hurt Village)”. One of her friends says, “Hurt Village? That sounds like a threat” Another lady says, “It might hurt your reputation to go there” This shows a textbook example of segregation from the white, middle to upper class live and the black, lower class liver While they are walking into a Big and Tall shop, Leigh Anne Tuohy says, “You’re going to take care of me right?” She can see how poor the neighborhoods are and that crime is definitely apparent throughout the neighborhoods and she even becomes a little scared, The stereotype that is seen in our criminal justice system is brought up in a second scene of Leigh Anne Tuohy’s lunch party.
Looking at incarceration rates per 100,000 in 2010 by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (2011), it shows that there are 456 white males, 1,252 hispanic male, and 3,059 black males per 100,00 that were incarcerated. The rate at which black people are arrested and put into jail is almost 7 times the amount of white people in 2010. Back to the lunch, one of the ladies says, “Aren’t you worried? Even just a little? He’s a boy, a large black boy, sleeping under the same roof.” The lady was referring to Collins, Leigh Anne Tuohy’s daughter and how they are together in the same household The lady was worried about something like a sexual assault or rape by Michael which is filling the stereotype of being one of the many dangerous black men who end up going to jail. According to The Sociology Project 2.0, “sociologists estimate that a third of adult black men have a felony conviction on their record.
When misdemeanor convictions and arrests are taken into account, about half of all black men have a criminal record. The NCAA investigated Tuohy‘s actions to determine if they had picked Michael off the street just for him to contribute in making Ole Miss a good football team, Michael gets angry and runs away from Leigh Anne Tuohy and back to Hurt Village. When Michael shows up looking for his mother at Hurt Village, he confronts one of the gang leaders and gets invited into his house. In the house, there seems to be some sort of party going on and on the table is what looks like drug paraphernalia As said earlier in the movie by Leigh Anne Tuohy, most inner-city students who don’t go to a 4-year university and to a 2- year junior college end up dropping out after their first year. Michael’s acquaintance, Dave, whom is at the party had been playing football for a junior college and had dropped out.
As stated previously, the Hurt Village is a high crime rate, and high poverty area. When the gang leader starts talking about Michael‘s adopted sister and mother, he gets defensive and sort of gets into the gang leader’s face. That is when the gang leader shows him his pistol in his waistband. That is the type of neighborhood that Michael grew up in and around those type of people. The movie, The Blind Side is a true story of how a young black man went from having no family, no home, no money, and no hope to having a successful and fulfilling life to having a loving and caring family who helped him get on track to becoming a college graduate and playing for the National Football League. There is a multitude of sociology concepts demonstrated throughout the film that are covered in class such as how race and ethnic groups come to play in everything ranging from the criminal justice system, income and wealth, living.