Essay on An Analysis of Waiting for Superman

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In 2010, Davis Guggenheim released one of the years most talked about documentaries, Waiting for Superman. His film was an eye opening, to many, look at the failings of the U.S. school system. The film follows five students across the U.S., who range in grade level from kindergarten to eighth grade, as they try and escape the public school system through a lottery for a chance admission to a charter school. Guggenheim lays the blame for the failing public education system at the feet of the various teachers unions, and makes a plea for the public in general to get involved in reforming the system. By analyzing Waiting for Superman through a sociological perspective, issues of inequality will be explained using the theoretical approach…show more content…
There is one major problem with them though; there are never enough enrollment slots to accommodate all children. Therefore as stated earlier, most of these children’s futures are determined by luck alone. The finale of the film is a heartbreaking scene. The viewer watches as all five children along with their families wait to see if their numbers are called in the lotteries for a place in the charter school. Futures are determined by the drop of a ball rather than hard work and effort. Conflict perspective, as defined by David M. Newman, views “the structure of society as a source of inequality, which benefits some groups at the expense of other groups” (Newman 19). Waiting for Superman demonstrates inequalities in education by highlighting inner-city minorities and their struggle for a proper education. The defined conflict in this documentary is between the welfare of the children seeking a proper education and the welfare of the teacher’s, seeking to maintain their employment at any cost through the use of unions. Education becomes the focal point for this analysis of the conflict perspective. Newman states, “the most powerful institutional agent of socialization after the family, is education” (Newman 67). The public education system is tasked with not educating, but also socializing and defining student’s sense of self as they mature through

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