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Sociological Analysis of Black Panther Movie (Essay Sample)


the task aimed at analyzing the various sociology concepts that played out through the movie black panther. I was to watch a movie or tv show of my choosing and analyze the meanings and representations being communicated in terms of gender, race, class, and among others. After analyzing the concepts, I was to write an analytical essay about the movie or tv show.


Wakanda is a fictional country that is located in the Sub-Saharan Africa. This country was created by Marvels in order to show that Africans can do great things when they come together for a common course. Over decades, there have been growing needs for the narrative about African nations to be changed. Most of the movies produced, especially Hollywood movies, envisioned African and African nations to be poverty stricken to a very great extent. Most of the movies produced earlier on portrayed Africans and also Black Americans as the sources and causes of trouble. The blacks were associated with suffering. Contrary to the preceding productions, Marvels aimed to change the narrative. The movie, Black Panther showed the great potential and richness that had been overlooked over years. Similarly, the movie told the story of the current occurrences that were taking place within Africa and the Black-American habitats (Fiege et al. 2018). Movies are pieces of art that tend to mirror the way a society goes about its normal day to day life. The relationships between individuals and groups in the society are clearly illustrated throughout. The various sociological concepts that have been evidently emulated and embraced in the movie Black Panther include Structural-Functional, Social Conflict, Feminism and Symbolic-Interactionism. (Griffin et al., 2015)
Structural Functional
This concept is commonly referred to as Functionalism. It perceives the society as a complex system with interrelated parts that work together to achieve stability and solidarity. A society is viewed to be a stepping stone towards the achievement of social and biological needs of the individuals with the society setting. Even though individuals make up a society, the society is made up of other aspects that link the individuals together. The aspects include but are not limited to patterns of beliefs and behaviors and social institutions. Thus, for a group of individuals to effectively habit and grow together they need to adhere to the set or accepted structural functional aspects. (Perrin, 1973)
Basing on the Movie; Black Panther, the concept of structural functionalism has been brought about throughout the whole script. This concept aided the habitants of Wakanda kingdom to coexist together peaceful and engage in activities that facilitated both economic and political stability. Wakanda has a leader who unites all the inhabitants of Wakanda. When the leader passes on, the son takes over the mantle of leading and uniting the people of the nation of Wakanda (Fiege et al. 2018). The people of Wakanda have a legitimate system of governance that has been set up as per their tradition. (Sjoberg, 1960)
From the movie Black Panther, it is evident that societies and individuals within a society are bound together by customs, values and traditions. For instance, upon the passing of T’Chaka (T’Challa’s father) M’Baku (the Jabari tribe’s leader) challenges T’Challa for the throne of the nation of Wakanda. The challenge is a ritual combat that is always carried out to transfer power or leadership to the person deemed fit to lead. The person who kills the opponent is automatically declared the leader. Thus, during the challenge M’Baku persuades T’Challa not to kill him when T’Challa defeated him. Similarly, when Erik returns to Wakanda, he also challenges T’Challa for the crown. He ends up defeating T’Challa and becomes the leader of Wakanda (Fiege et al. 2018). Thus, we deduce that the customs of Wakanda are what held together the people of Wakanda. These customs fostered solidarity and stability among the individuals who are the inhabitants of Wakanda. (Sjoberg, 1960)
Social conflict
This concept offers the perspective that social life gives a platform for competition and focuses on the distribution of resources, power and other inequalities. Social conflict is perceived to be an agent that pushes for social change. Power and resources are scarcely available while the human population is dense. This makes the available resources to be strained which leads to inequality since not everyone can get a share of the available resources. Thus, this breeds social conflicts between the various individuals, parties or groups of a society. (Gay, 1994)
During the UN meeting, T’Challa is asked what the nation of Wakanda can offer to the rest of the world in return. This implies that racism has been deep-rooted in the society. Because Wakanda is a black-man habitat, it is perceived that they are inferior. Thus, the whites feel that the black people cannot offer anything to the world in return. In response, T’Challa smiles (Fiege et al. 2018). This portrays that Wakanda had a lot more to offer even-though most countries looked down upon Wakanda. Wakanda was looked down upon since it was considered a third-world country and also a Black man country. Even in the modern day, the Black man is considered to be inferior to the white man. The Whites are perceived to be more superior compared to the Blacks.
Although Erik’s ancestral land is Wakanda, he is totally disconnected from it. Thus, at the end of the movie he openly states that if he dies he should be buried in the sea. This is solely because he does not view Wakanda to be connected to him. He feels that African slaves and African-Americans are the only ancestors he has. He feels that living in Wakanda and being buried in Wakanda makes him a slave. This is greatly attributed to the fact that he is not accustomed to the culture of Wakanda. Erik was brought up in Oklahoma where he learnt to live on his own in the streets. He was made to learn how to survive after his father was killed by T’Chaka while he was still a small boy (Fiege et al. 2018). Thus, he carries on the perception that being a member of Wakanda, he’ll be held in bondage. In the modern world, most of the immigrants tend to disconnect from their ancestral land. This is because of the suffering they endure before settling into the new environments. Thus, when they head back to their ancestral land they feel greatly disconnected and out of place. Most of their thought processes are considered not to be aligned with society’s way of life. (Turner, 2003)
From the movie Black Panther, it is clearly evident that the presence of a father plays a vital role in the upbringing of child in the society. With Erik’s father has been “illegally taken away”, he ends up joining the wrong guys. He then becomes the villain of the movie. He seeks revenge on the leadership of Wakanda. He’s led by rage in his bid to avenge on behalf of his father. He had led his life on the streets whereby guns were his normal way of life. Thus, when he becomes the leader of Wakanda, he authorizes the importation of Vibranium to the outside world. On the other hand, T’Challa who is brought up by a stern father (who was the leader of Wakanda until his death) grows to be a great leader for Wakanda. He is adequately taught by his father about how best to serve the people by putting the interests of the community before personal interests. He urges the people of Wakanda to co-exist in peace and use the available resources for their own benefit (Fiege et al. 2018). Thus, the Vibranium is only used for the development of technology and infrastructure within Wakanda. This is a sole representation of the African political leadership. Most of the people in power always tend to clash when it comes to ideologies on how best to utilize the available resources. Thus, it is best salient to amicably settle the differences by weighing in on the pros and cons of the various courses of action that have been put forth by the various parties. This enables the fostering of maximum and optimal utilization of the available resources; and also fosters accountability. (Sjoberg, 1960)
Wakanda, an African country, is perceived to be poor. This is because it is a third world country. In the modern society, most people around the world perceive African countries to be impoverished. In reality, the African countries are rich in culture and other vital resources. Thus, when Klaue steals the Vibranium and takes to Ross, Ross is in dire disbelief. He asks if Klaue stole the Vibranium from Wakanda, a country considered to be a third world country. Ross is in disbelief because of the notion and perspective that has been imprinted into his mind by other people over a period of time. Therefore, he sets out to Wakanda to see for himself (Fiege et al. 2018). He visits Wakanda because he is in total disbelief and amusement. He does not believe that a third world country cannot be rich in resources. When he gets to Wakanda, he sees the Vibranium, the technological advancements using the mineral and the rich culture of the people of Wakanda. He is totally amazed as his doubts are fully casted since he has seen by his own self. (Turner, 2003)
Over years, there have been growing cases of racial segregation across the world. In America, racial abuse has been rampant. This has led to animosity between the Black Americans and the whites. This is since the whites feel that the Black Americans are not supposed to occupy America. Thus, the movie Black Panther draws this social issues by portraying how Blacks are racially abused in the world by the whites. For instance, when Erik visits the museum, he is accompanied by several security officials (Fiege et al. 2018). This is because they feel that Erik will steal the artefacts that have been preserved in the museum. The notion is because he is...

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