How "Dead Poet's Society" Relates to Sociology

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Sociological View of “Dead Poets Society” Heather Miller This is a wonderful movie and has several different concepts that deal with sociology. There are so many in fact that I could go on for a really long time talking about every concept, however, I am going to introduce the five main concepts that I believe are most important. The first one we see is a great example of Charles Horton Cooley’s explanation of primary and secondary groups. The next major concept is the Social Control theory, which actually sticks with the entire movie. Then we have examples of Cooley: Looking-Glass Self, Merton’s Theory of Deviance, and finally Durkheim’s theory about suicide being related to social factors. Dead Poets Society opens with all the boys in school and meeting their new teacher Mr. Keating who is going to be their new poetry teacher. Right off the bat we meet a specific group of young men who remain a tight group throughout the movie. Throughout the movie we see that one of the main characters, Neil, is having a lot of issues with his father trying to run his life and telling him what he can and can’t do. All the while Mr. Keating is trying to get these boys to think for themselves, he even opens his first class with the line “Carpe Diem” (Seize the Day) which they all take seriously. In the end Neil’s father is forcing Neil to live the life that he wants him to live and Neil decides he can’t do it anymore and kills himself. After killing himself, his father refuses to accept responsibility and demands the school to conduct an investigation. After a little persuasion, the Dead Poet’s group comes forward and puts the blame on Mr. Keating for his unorthodox ways of teaching. It ends with Mr. Keating getting fired and the boys apologizing by standing on their desks, as they had done earlier in the movie, and says “Oh Captain! My captain!” Right after the opening
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