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Theories of Sociology: A Bug's Life Essay

Decent Essays
The movie “A Bug’s Life” shares the story of a colony of ants that are trapped in a vicious cycle of gathering food for the powerful grasshoppers year after year. The ants become wary of collecting food and soon realize a revolution is needed to free themselves from the grip of the grasshoppers. Throughout “A Bug’s Life”, a critical analysis of character interaction contributes to a greater understanding of the functionalist theory, conflict theory, and Marxism and how these sociological principles create a competitive society and inevitably lead to societal change.
In order to understand the entirety of a society, we must first understand each part and how it contributes to the stability of the society. According to the functionalist
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“As one part of a system changes, other parts have to readjust to accommodate the change that has taken place elsewhere” (Stolley). This aspect of functionalism explains why the grasshoppers are so adamant in preventing an uprising from the ants. The ants begin to realize after years and years of gathering food for the grasshoppers, that this system is not necessarily ideal for their colony. The grasshoppers sense this hesitation from the ants and quickly assert themselves to make sure the ants do not rebel. The head grasshopper makes it clear to his pack, “if we let one ant stand up to us then they all might stand up. Those puny little ants outnumber us 100-1 and if they ever figure that out, there goes our way of life. Its not about food, it’s about keeping those ants in line”(A Bug’s Life). Similarly, a functionalist society is inordinately dependent on maintaining the status quo to ensure the stability of the broader society. In addition to stability, a society also depends on social order, according to the conflict theory. This theory emphasizes, “a society is fragmented into groups that compete for social and economic resources” (Crossman). This is especially exhibited in “A Bug’s Life” due to the scarcity of the food each year that creates conflict between the ants and grasshoppers. At one point in the movie, an ant expresses his concern by saying “if we collect more food for [the grasshoppers], there will be no food left to feed us!” (A
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