Mean Girls Movie Essay

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Mean Girls is a comedy full of memorable quotes, amusing characters, and lots of laughs for the audience, but what many people may not realize is that this movie includes psychological concepts such as role schemas, diffusion of responsibility and front and backstage effect. Mean Girls is about a girl entering a public high school for the first time after being homeschooled all of her life. While discovering herself throughout this life-changing event, she gets involved with a clique called "the plastics" and many games begin to unravel. This movie shows very amusingly yet real-life examples of psychological concepts that can help people recognize them in their everyday lives. Role schemas are defined as the norms and expected behaviours of…show more content…
As the idea implies, "front stage" actions are those that are visible to the audience and are part of the performance while people engage in "backstage" behaviours when no audience is present. While Cady, Janis, and Damian are at the mall, they run into Ms. Norbury. Upon running into her, Janice chimes in saying, "Oh, I love seeing teachers outside of school. It's like seeing a dog walk on its hind legs." In this example Ms. Norbury's front stage is the classroom, performing as a professional math teacher with her students as the audience. To Cady, Janice, and Damian the front stage is only the performance they have experienced, but when the four runs into each other at Janice’s work, the students see Ms. Norbury's backstage. Another example of dramaturgy in Mean Girls is Cady. Throughout the movie, Cady shows her front stage as being a plastic. She begins to care about her appearance, gossip, popularity, and boys and shows that side of her to the school, but behind closed doors, some of Cady's best friends are Janice and Damian which are considered to be losers. Behind closed doors Cady also loves math, is down to earth and does not care about her appearance. Thus, this is Cady's backstage. These two examples tie into Goffman's theory of dramaturgy because in both instances what the characters let out to people is different to what they are behind
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