Symbolic Interactionism, Functional Analysis, and Conflict Theory in the Film, 'Gran Torino'

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CLINT EASTWOOD'S GRAND TORINO 8 Symbolic Interactionism, Functional Analysis and Conflict Theory In Gran Torino Symbolic Interactionism With respect to symbolic interactionism, people build meaning to life through social interaction. People operate the way they do because of their own characterization of situations. Symbolic interactionists appreciate social life through social interactions. From symbolic interactionists' point of view, the society is a product of social interactions where people utilize symbols to form meaning. Human's image, as opposed to societal image matters most in life. The society takes in patterned and organized interactions among people. In the movie Gran Torino, Walt's life becomes darker each day when increased number of Hmong and other racial groups move into his city. Walt considers himself as the embodiment of an ideal American person. An American flag placed outside his house symbolizes his loyalty to his race and culture. Walt considers himself a complete definition of an American person; he drives an American car, drinks American beer, and he demonstrates the stereotypical ego of a true American. He despises his Hmong neighbors and considers himself the best person in the neighborhood. His ego emerges during his wife's burial. Symbolic interactionism provides the significance of subjective meaning of human behavior and social processes. The manner in which Walt's grandchildren dresses shows that they are Americans, but their

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