Clueless Belonging Analysis

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An Analysis of Cher Horowitz and Tai Fraiser’s Relationship from Clueless
The desire for relationships is universal; interpersonal relationships are important to men and to women, to gay men and lesbians and to heterosexuals, to young and to old (Wood, 1995). It is through this contact of human interaction that an individual can gain an understanding to their perspective of the world around them and gain insight from others. From the very beginning individuals desire for a sense of belonging in this immense world and throughout their lives they search for a purpose of being. Oftentimes, humans lack the words to convey what they think or how they truly feel and this can create a disconnection or conflict between individuals. Most could agree
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There are numerous reasons in which individuals choose to stereotype. Among these are the needs for understanding, belongingness, and self-enhancement (Fiske, 1958). Nearly every character in the film has an obvious stereotype which can be closely related to their nonverbal communication or body language/appearance. However, this report will focus on two characters aspects, Cher and Tai. The main character of the film Cher is stereotyped as blonde, young and a rich “daddy’s girl”. She embodies a typical popular girl stereotype who enjoys overindulging in “retail therapy”, appears ditzy and vain and like most female stereotypes cannot properly drive a car. However, as the audience advances further into the movie they learn that she actually contradicts those stereotypes, or at least in the sense that she is not the average popular girl who is out to sabotage everyone. She enjoys helping others, makes good grades, is assertive without being too bossy, and even proudly boast her virginity. In comparison, Tai’s character is stereotyped as a less desirable, specifically amongst the popular kids. This is evident as she stands out from the crowd based upon her mediocre attire, heavy Bronx accent, references to drug use and general lack of understanding of cliques at the school. Essentially Tai is characterized as an “ugly duckling”, who is unaware of her potential and worth other than appearance. Another example of stereotyping that occurs in the film is when Cher and her best friend Dionne walk Tai through the campus. They expose her to the different cliques and stereotypes such as slackers, jocks, nerds and even “Prussian mafia”. Social identity theory (Tajfel & Turner 1986) states that people categorize others into groups, compare their own group to out-groups, and generally evaluate their own group more
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