Sociology Paper on the Move the Departed

1135 Words Sep 24th, 2011 5 Pages
From watching the 2006 film titled “The Departed”, I argue that the social message of the film is not just identity but the changing of identity through socialization. This can best be described through the symbolic interaction theory. Like the main characters of the film, people give meaning to their behavior based on the meaning they impose on objects, events and other behaviors (Anderson & Taylor, 2009). The film’s main protagonist Bill Costigan and main antagonist Colin Sullivan both share similar backgrounds and culture. Costigan “being born into a family with criminal backgrounds”, rebels against the social norm like his father and instead becomes an undercover state police officer. Sullivan on the other hand “with influence from …show more content…
He gets by from the experiences he had from being born into a family with criminal ties. Organized crime syndicates are often based on racial, ethnic, and family ties, with different groups dominating and replacing each other (Anderson & Taylor, 2009). This doesn’t just help his cover story, but allows him to use his past experience to project the appropriate behavior to avoid suspicion. Costigan’s social conflict may seem to be unsolved due to his death. The fact that he is given a proper officer’s funeral, and essentially gets his identity back by being acknowledge as police officer shows otherwise. Sullivan’s troubles in this film come from both trying to please Costello and be a model detective. Sullivan sees Costello as a father figure. This is shown throughout the film while talking on the phone Sullivan always addresses Costello as dad. Even though this is just a code word. The relationship between these two ends in conflict after Sullivan realizes that Costello has been a FBI informant the entire time.

Social structure is pattern of social relationships and institutions that make up society (Anderson & Taylor, 2009). A great example of social structure in the film is when Dr. Madolyn tells Sullivan at dinner that without criminals there would be no need for police. Race comes into play early in the film with the separation of the mob groups both Irish and Italian. African Americans and Puerto

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