Before President Lincoln Issued The Emancipation Proclamation,

1920 WordsMar 7, 20178 Pages
Before President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, claiming a human being as property was the norm—slavery was completely acceptable. As portrayed in the film 12 Years A Slave, main character Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery. Throughout his twelve year, heartbreaking, journey as a slave, Solomon is stripped of his name, beaten, overworked, belittled, and dehumanized. Taking a sociological view of Solomon’s experiences, can lead to a different perspective than the average person interpreting scenes from this film. This essay will concentrate on theoretical perspectives, social/cultural context, sociological concepts, and one research method. There is a variety of ways…show more content…
A symbolic integrationist would find it fascinating that something so small as the “meaning” color of skin is given would dictate human interaction. Another idem used to categorize characters in the movie was clothes. Fair skinned people dressed in clean, bright clothing and gowns. The clothing symbolized their high status and quantity of money. On the other hand, colored/slaves would wear dirty, bloody (from the lashes received) rags that symbolized filth and how little they were worth. Something else that caught my attention for symbolic interpretation was the dog tag Solomon had to wear if he were sent on errands. The dog tag symbolized he was oppressed and had an owner. In one scene, Solomon, or Plad (the slave name given to him), went out to run errands for him master, he ran into white individuals who were lynching slaves, but they did not harm him because he had this dog tag on. It’s amazing how a simple idem such as a dog tag held that much power and respect that no harm came to him simply because he was “owned”. Similar to symbolic perspective but different in areas is the conflict perspective. While a symbolic interactionist would concentrate on the meaning items are given, a conflict interactionist inspects the problems that arise from groups competing for scarce resources. As stated in the book, Essential of Sociology: A Down-To-Earth Approach, “ conflict theory, a theoretical framework in which society
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