Social Stratification In The Movie The Help

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The Help is set in Jackson, Mississippi during the 1960s. Skeeter, a southern society girl, interviews the black women who have spent their lives being servants for wealthy white Southern families. There are various scenes throughout the film that show social stratification, racial inequalities, gender inequalities, and class inequalities. Massey’s Social Stratification Theory states that humans allocate people to different categories. These categories often lead to inequality which is implemented socially. These categories are created to classify people conceptually based on achieved and ascribed characteristics. We hold onto these categories and base them on race, gender, age, and ethnicity. In the Help, we see Massey’s theory of Social Stratification at work. Everyone is the movie is placed at a different level in the social hierarchy that is based on their race, gender, age, or class. The white men are at the top, the white women fall right below the, then black men and the black women are placed at the lowest level of the hierarchy.…show more content…
Black women are treated less than because of their ascribed traits, their gender and race, and are often dehumanized and belittled throughout the movie. They are treated like slaves and are seen as easily disposable. There are several moments throughout the film that show the racial, gender, and class inequalities. These moments also show exploitation and opportunity hoarding. The Help also explains historical context of the inequality that occurred during that time period. Black people were treated as less than because of their race and often had low paying jobs working for white people. Racism was especially bad in the south in states like Mississippi, where The Help takes place. The Civil Rights movement also started during this time so racial tensions were even higher during this
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