The following essay is based on the movie Elysium which conveys a futuristic view of humanity’s evolution whereby Earth’s wealthiest fled the planet to preserve their way of life leaving the financially unstable and the sickly behind. Social inequality In the film Elysium Is constructed by depicting a dyspepsia society (Elysium 2013) This can be evidenced through the Imagery, architecture, agricultural landscape, language, Ideas, values and norms portrayed In the movie (Giddiness, A 2009). Social Inequality In the film Elysium is constructed by depicting a dyspepsia society.
Elysium explores sociological themes such as class issues, poverty, immigration, over population, healthcare and exploitation, social inequality, mobility. Social inequality is depicted on earth whereby its citizens were classified as a minority group and were limited to their social status and class stratification (Elysium 2013). First we consider material inequality which was evident in the movie due to disparities of income, property and wealth. Secondly, inequality associated with employment and the labor market and thirdly, inequality arising from the lack of healthcare resources and education yester.
Social mobility Is the movement of an Individual or a group in a social position to upper or lower classes In the means of health status, literacy and better standard of living through migration to Elysium as asylum seekers to escape their socio- economic level as refugees (Dodd, J. J 2010). Attributes such as age, gender, race or ethnicity further distinguish people in terms of class and status in context of femininity and hegemonic masculinity, depicting the dominant social position of men and women in Elysium and on earth on how gender in terms of employment are resent on earth as well.
Most importantly how all these pieces of popular culture is reflective to the current Australian society in their similarities and disparities. Social mobility is essential to the plot of the movie as most of the citizens on earth aspire to a higher social class for a better standard of living (Dodd,J. J 2010). Social inequality is constructed in the film In the film by depicting a dyspepsia society. This Is evidenced through the Imagery of earth, the architecture of buildings In ruins, landscape, language, Ideas and norms.
The infrastructure on earth Is dilapidated, not maintained and cared for, the environment Is a barren wasteland with high levels of pollution from industrial outlets. Earth was mainly used for the manufacturing of droid’s where the lead character was employed for assembling them. Droid’s were utilized to police and keep order on the vastly populated earth. Lack of educational facilities on Earth affected children who became “dreamers” for a better world with an inevitable future of despair (Elysium 2013). The work force on these druid factories wowed the disparities of status in the employment hierarchy.
John Carlyle the CEO of Marlene, had a separate office whereas the employees and supervisors were on the floor. The CEO only Intervened when there was adherence in production. The character portrayed emotional detachment to the employees treating them as If they were mere objects. (Western, M & Baxter, J 2007). In Elysium, the environment had a very sterile and futuristic look, well planned and Idyllic to the citizens. Everything on earth Is In despair and decline, the rich on the other hand have every resource available to them in their paradise in space.
The landscape is beautifully maintained, two worlds is evident and the introduction of the movie constructs this accurately for the viewer’s portraying the severe inequality in the social class stratification. On Elysium the privileged strive to preserve their prestige lifestyle whilst on Earth the citizens are left to fend for themselves to struggle amongst overpopulation, poverty, low healthcare standards. (Garage, B 2002). Australia is an egalitarian society, however social inequality exists to quite a large extend.
There are numerous inequalities present in the Australian society which has a propensity to divide the community into different groupings (Heinlein, J, Passim, A & Passim-linseed, A 2014). According to (Garage, B 2002) Mar’s approach has been extremely useful in understanding inequality in Australia today. However, the revised approach from Erik Olin Wright argues that importance of education in the twentieth century led to groups arising whose economic roles were determined by educational qualification and expertise rather than work done with hands (Garage, B 2002). Inequality in
Australia is largely dependent on differentiation of social classes. The working class represents the largest class in the workforce and the capitalist class the smallest portion of the workforce. (Heinlein, J, Passim, A & Passim-linseed, A 2014). In (Dodd, J. J. 2010) the possibility of upward social mobility is strengthened through belief in one’s own life and these ideas are re-in forced through movies and the American culture. Social mobility can be understood as the “movement of individuals and groups between different class positions as a result of changes in occupation, lath or income”. Giddiness, Dunedin, & Applesauce, 2007). Material inequality of the labor force and poor work management led to the main character Matt Damon being lethally exposed to radiation. He was given a bottle of pills but no proper medical care. Matt Damson’s character was exploited by the capitalist class for capital gain and once he was no longer able to contribute to the workforce he became a liability and let go. As a result of, the main character had no choice but to go through intergenerational mobility, a change in class position.
Social interaction is drastically sacking on earth, there is no face to face interaction. The robots act as authority figures and do not react in relation with the citizens. They follow standards of conduct and behave accordingly, showing no emotions which are key elements of social interaction (Furze, B, Saw, P, Bryn, R & Lie, J 2008). The belief of a possible upward social mobility is are reinforced in the movie and in the modern Australian society. Upward social mobility is central to the plot and the outcome of the story in Elysium.
According to Marx, class is defined as where a person stands in regards to reduction (Capital Industry) whereby the democratic society of Elysium act as the “bourgeoisie” who own the means of production and dictate to the residents on earth who are the “proletariat’s” and perform labor intensive and manual tasks. Both the bourgeoisie and proletariat’s had opposing interests leading to hostility and conflict. In Elysium the opposing interests between the capitalist and working class led to hostility and conflict.
The working class became impoverished and disadvantaged which led to a revolution for upward social mobility to improve their circumstances Garage, B 2002). Another very key issue that was portrayed in the movie was the concept of ethnicity, looking at Australia which has a complicated history where Just under a quarter of its population are first generation migrants. It is a multi-cultural cultures of people residing together which made them feel a sense of belonging towards one another based on cultural similarities like language spoken, religion, food and lifestyle patterns.
On Elysium the residents were indifferent, all vastly wealthy and are almost white compared to earth. They built hierarchies and lassie people into categories mostly on the basis of class and status. Since they were wealthy they believed they were far more superior and smarter to the lower class thus forcing them to seek refuge on earth to perish or survive the atrocious conditions on earth. Popup,J 2002) States that Australia is an immigrant society. Continual immigration has attributed to the affluent society that we have present today.
Assimilation due to the increasing number of immigrants in the Australian Society meant disappearance of many characteristics which differentiated individuals room each other. Popup, J 2002). Since Earth being a manufacturing and industrialized society, the idea of masculinity was interpreted and men were usually bread winners as hard labor was required. Femininity was constructed as the women on Earth were utilized in domestic duties and offered health care services to the sick and injured (School, S, Buskin,J & Long, J 2002.
On Elysium feminism in regards to gender plays a pivotal role where Jodie Foster who plays the role of Secretary of Defense shows no tolerance to refugee/ asylum seekers and orders execution even before they reach Elysium (School, S, Buskin,J & Long, J 2002). However, the CEO and the president are male in gender which portrays patriarchy depicting a male dominance hierarchy in governance (Bolton, T, Bonnet, K, Jones, P, Lawson, T, Skinner, D & Stonewort, M 2002).
The citizens on earth who strives to migrate into Elysium were a minority group which was further distinguished into small groups, in context with ‘mechanical solidarity Druthers stated that ” what holds these small groups together is a ‘shared collective” where there is not much differences in the beliefs of the society once they expanded (Day, G 2006). It was the sameness of status that the citizens had which made them work together as a unit through understanding each other’s values and norms (Day, G 2006). Staying on earth was not out of free will.
It was taken away from the lower class thus they were treated like slaves. Women were perceived as a minority group in context with class stratification whereby they did not have equal privileges in the society. It is understandable that social inequality does exist in the current Australian society however, the lower classes have the opportunity to halogen the set social order and improve their class status through upward social mobility. Education plays a significant factor as the well learnt can strive for high income earning positions that will contribute to their personal and capital wealth.
In Australia, education is available to people of all classes and there is no barrier to it. Thus, the opportunities and privileges previously available to the higher social class can now be attained by an individual from a lower class allowing them to be socially mobile and to better their lifestyle. Class and ethnicity play a significant role in the rent Australian society as it distinguishes individuals. Individuals in the same social class may not experience the same status as modern societies are more complex and can be stratified in several ways.
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