[personal profile] lashemos
The Blind Side, an inspirational movie and personal favorite. This movie is a true story of a poor, homeless and struggling African American teenager Michael Oher. Having an extremely rough life, Michael is taken in by the Touhy family. The Touhy family goes through the process of breaking into his past and gaining trust. Turning Michael into a star football player, Michael and the Touhy family are changed forever, both finding everything they have been missing.
Applying social psychology to this movie, originates from the soul of Michael Oher as he deals with low self-esteem (Kassin, Fein, Markus, 2016, pg 76) and the feelings of abandonment and being misunderstood. Dealing with low self-esteem (Kassin, Fein, Markus, 2016, pg 76) through mostly the first half of the movie, Michael doesn’t let anyone in. He has a hard time trusting people because the ones he did trust disappeared. On many occasions Michael only had the look of pain and sadness, for instance on Michaels first day of school all of the kids looked at him like he was a monster and talked about him. He also felt alone, confused and scared when he had to take a test about things he never learned about before. Only a few times would he grin, people would look at him funny, make fun of him or little girls would run away when he said “Hi”. Michael was different, massive in size and the only African American at his Christian school. Being treated different left his self-esteem (Kassin, Fein, Markus, 2016, pg 76) crushed and he felt alone. When he would start to feel better and more confident about himself an event would take place that would set him back again.
A sense of great loneliness (Kassin, Fein, Markus, 2016, pg 356) followed Michael everywhere through his life. Being taken from his drug addicted mother and separated from his siblings. Growing up on peoples couches when he ran away from foster homes. He would hear his friend Steve argue with his dad that he wanted him to leave and that he never paid attention to him alone anymore. They kicked Michael out of the house, leaving him homeless once again and feeling as lonely as ever. There was no one to care for him or to make sure he had the education and the chance in life he longed for. At first when he was taken to the Tuohy’s home they distanced themselves a little from him. Mrs. Tuohy even stated on his first night, “You don’t think he’ll steal anything do you?” “If you hear a scream call the insurance adjuster”. They had all stereotyped him because of his life situation and his color. Michael still felt lonely even though they were there, going to eat alone and sitting at school alone.
Everyone had their own judgements and using facial feedback hypothesis (Kassin, Fein, Markus, 2016, pg 62) you could see and feel the change through the whole movie. Looks of sadness from Michael at every screen shot, curiosity from Sean when he saw Michael picking up popcorn to eat after Collins volleyball game. Concern and determination from Mrs. Tuohy when she first saw him walking in the rain and freezing cold after SJ’s play. Confusion and sympathy from Collins when she went to sit with him to study in the library and always happiness from SJ especially on the car ride to buy the Madden game. Then it was all happiness, coming to the point where Michael was added to the family and accepted by everyone.
Michael and SJ had a brother hood relationship through the whole movie. Even down to the college recruiters where SJ was the confederate (Kassin, Fein, Markus, 2016, pg 44) always asking “what’s in it for me” as Michael tried to decide on which school to choose. Michael wanted to make everyone happy and felt he owed SJ his time to shine too for sending in the video. SJ and Michael did everything and went everywhere together as if their lives were one.
When choosing a college Michael wanted to please the Tuohy family by going to Olé Miss even though he wanted to attend Tennessee. Social exchange theory (Kassin, Fein, Markus, 2016, pg 384) was applied by Michael wanting to play football in college and better himself but didn’t want to disappoint the Tuohy family. After the meeting with the NCAA and running away, Michael and Mrs. Tuohy came to an understanding. “If Tennessee is what you want I promise to go to every game, but I won’t wear that God awful orange, it’s not on my color wheel and I refuse to wear it”.
When Michael ran away, Mrs. Tuohy asked Sean “Did you ever ask him what he wanted? Cuz I sure hell know I never did”. Using social comparison theory (Kassin, Fein, Markus, 2016, pg 66), Mrs., Tuohy compared herself to the woman from the NCAA. She was the only person that tried to convince Michael that Olé Miss was a setup and Tennessee was where he should be playing football. Mrs. Tuohy was a determined “in your face” kind of person through the entire movie until she felt she was making all of Michaels decisions of what she wanted for him, instead of what he wanted.
Within this movie and connected to social psychology and ripping it apart to analyze it, you realize there is so much more to the story than entertainment. Finding that social psychology is all around, in every action, every thought. This movie could be one of the top movies in learning the topics of social psychology. From self-esteem to social comparison theory and loneliness. With social perception you get to understand what others are like and how they behave. Lifestyles that are so different but are all around and applied to the world. Social perception in this movie is in a form of stereotype. Seeing someone in a certain way, but knowing that the thoughts and opinions can always change with people.

Johnson, B. Kosove, A. Netter, G. (Producers) & Hancock, L (Director). (2009). The Blind Side [Motion Picture]. United States: Alcon Entertainment.
Fein, S. Kassin, S. Markus, H. R. (2016). Social Psychology. Canada. Cengage Learning.



April 2017


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