The Breakfast Club Social Penetration Theory

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The Social Penetration Theory is founded by objective theorists Irvin Altman and Dalmas Taylor. Social Penetration theory is applied in our lives because each day we meet someone new while developing relationships and personal connections with people overtime. The Social Penetration Theory is the idea that relationships can become more intimate through the amount of mutual self-disclosure. In John Hughes’ 1985 film, The Breakfast Club, the cast displays the social penetration theory when five students begin not knowing one another until the end of detention. Due to the amount of effective self-disclosure, this group of high schoolers have become friends. Theorists, Altman and Taylor used the idea that people are like onions and there is a…show more content…
The students of The Breakfast Club failed to realize what they had in common because they judged one another based on how they appeared on the outside. Even the principal, Mr. Vernon viewed the students based on their actions but not their inner self. At the start of detention, he explained that he wanted each student to write an essay within eight hours explaining who they thought they were. Mr. Vernon already had his impressions of each student based on the way they performed at school. In Mr. Vernon’s mind, Andy is an athlete, Claire is a princess, John is a criminal, Allison is a basket case, and Brian is a brain. The principal was stuck on each student's outer layer or biographical data, rather than their complete concept of self. During detention, the students began to rapidly reveal their interests but slowly started to disclose who they really…show more content…
The first stage, “orientation” occurs when people meet for the first time and they reveal general things about themselves. Then, the relationship moves to the second stage called “exploratory affective exchange stage” this is when people start to share more of the personalities. In general, not many people get pass the second stage. The third, is “affective exchange stage” this is reached when people have close friendships or in an intimate relationship. During this stage, people can be more vulnerable to another person without feeling uncomfortable. The fourth, is the “stable exchange stage” the highest level of intimacy a relationship can achieve. In this stage, the relationship is very close and there are no secrets, each person shares all of their thoughts without hesitation. The “stable exchange stage” is the most meaningful stage because it is when a relationship has a bond that nothing or no one can
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