Sample Essay on Social Aspects in the Movie Home Alone 2

One of my favorite movies is the home alone sequel, especially the second one that involves the separation of Kevin and his family at the airport, sending him to New York while they went to Miami. As the movie opens, the first sociological concept that is clearly brought out is the idea of social institutions. The McCallister family is large and consists of every personality type, age group as well as gender. In the family, the transfer of information, social norms and enforcement of rules and regulations are reserved for the elderly. One of the social norms clearly represented in this social structure is the idea of dressing. Although Kevin is in his suit and ready to leave for Church, Mr. McCallister informs him that his outfit is incomplete without his tie and that he should get it before they leave for the Christmas pageant. Like most other societies, holidays are standard and for Kevin, it defies norms to have Christmas without a Christmas tree.

Similar to other social groups, the McCallister family experiences conflict within the family as well as from external forces. Within the family, the primary conflicting persons are Buzz and Kevin, whose personalities are divergent and sometimes, in opposition. While Kevin is somewhat a deviant in his rejection of the requirement for apologies and reconciliation, Buzz’s character is one of conformity in an attempt to gain favor. Due to his deviant nature, Kevin’s conflict with Buzz extends to his immediate as well as extended family, and eventually puts him at odds with the staff at the hotel. In addition, while the McCallister family desire to find Kevin and ensure his safety, the wet bandits are desirous to ensure he meets his demise. The two criminals that compose the wet bandits, Marv and Harry, present the concept of cooperation. Despite the fact that their intentions are sinister, they work together and are willing to face every challenge together to achieve their objectives. They also purport to offer Kevin a cooperative agreement they do not intend to uphold. In addition, they depict deviance in society, not only by their defiance of the law but also their attempt to steal from innocent children during a holiday punctuated by giving. Their defiance and eventual apprehension by the police also alludes to the presence of law that infers the presence of its instituting body, the government. It also presents the existing conflict between the legal requirements and those willing to oppose and disobey them.

Besides their deviant behavior, Harry and Marv are an outstanding portrayal of social structure. While the McCallister family makes their travel by air to their exotic holiday location, the lower placed wet bandits illegally hide in a fish truck to get to their destination. Harry also alludes to his life in the lower strata of society by the fact of his lack of adequate education. Social stratification is also presented within the McCallister family when Uncle Frank informs the audience of the expensive nature of the planned vacation he is unwilling to miss yet unable to fund.

Finally, another social aspect expressed in the movie is the concept of gender roles. While Mrs. McCallister is genuinely concerned for her son and willing to search for him in the night, she meets some resistance from her husband, the police and hotel staff whose concern is for her safety. In addition to gender roles, Harry and Uncle Frank explore Judith butler’s gender performativity. According to Uncle Franck, he is the biological exemplification of a real man and warns Kevin of the psychological implications that may result from walking into the shower while he was in it. On the other hand, Harry refers to his accomplice as a sissy whenever the accomplishment of daring and dangerous acts is a challenge to him, implying his whimpering is in contradiction to his excepted gender performance.