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Michael Moore’s: “Roger & Me” – A Sociological Film Review Sample

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This docudrama is written. directed and produced by Michael Moore and is about the societal reverberations of capitalist economy every bit good as corporate and authorities issues that struggle with the basic demands of people and their households. Moore takes a broad humanistic expression at the effects of General Motors shuting down several car workss in Flint. Michigan in the late 1980’s and what can go on when a metropolis is about wholly reliant on a individual industry that shuts down or moves off.

Moore besides looks at the failure of Flint metropolis functionaries to change by reversal the effects of the closings with tendencies like Auto World which had small consequence ( Moore. 1989 ) .

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After the closings of the car workss in Flint. the unemployment and underemployment rates increased to about 50 % which was unprecedented in United States history. As a consequence of this. sociological issues such as homelessness. drug maltreatment. offense rates and poorness rates have all increased dramatically go forthing the metropolis of Flint in economic and societal shambles.

Alternatively of Flint being recognized as the car doing capital of the universe. it is now clearly known as the worst topographic point to populate in America.

Sociological Theory: A Marxist Position

The chief sociological theory that is apparent in this movie is that of Karl Marx and the Conflict Theory. Flint can be seen as a phase in which the middle class and the labor battled for power. The middle class proprietors of General Motors exploited the labor workers and took what they needed for 80 old ages to function their underside line which was net incomes and power.

The United Auto Workers ( UAW ) sit down work stoppage of 1937 was reminiscent of what Karl Marx would hold called the inevitable revolution against the middle class against the subjugation of the working category car makers. This work stoppage resulted in widespread labour organisation that’s intent was to protect the workers in the hereafter and for the most portion. it did merely that until the events in the docudrama unfolded.

During the 1980’s. foreign competition and better economic fortunes in Mexico lead to General Motors shuting down the mills in Flint. Marx may hold seen this as an ultimate signifier of control over the workers. The mills were reopened in Mexico with an all new. much cheaper labour force that was non protected by labour brotherhoods. This one time once more gives the middle class proprietors more power and control to work the workers while at the same clip go forthing over 30. 000 people out of work in Flint.

Sociological Theory: A Functionalist Perspective

There is an interesting correlativity between the Functionalists Sociological position and the events in Flint. The functionalists would state that everything that happens in society serves a map or aim one manner or another. I find it interesting that. as a consequence of General Motors shuting its workss in Flint. the metropolis became one of the worst topographic points to populate in America with the highest unemployment rate ; how does this function a map you ask?

Functionalists would reason that concerns such as blood Bankss. traveling companies and mental wellness establishments benefited as a consequence of General Motors actions ; therefore it served a intent. Other organisations that preponderantly benefited from the works closings were authorities organisations such as Michigan corrections installations and the United States military.

After September 11th. 2001 the armed forces was despairing to happen new recruits. Many people who join the military do so because they need money for instruction or have no other options frequently due to sociological issues in their lives. In another Michael Moore film. Moore illustrates how the military “would happen them ( recruits ) all across America in the topographic points that have been destroyed by the economic system. topographic points where one of the lone occupations available was to fall in the army” ( Moore. 2004 ) . Moore was mentioning to his place town of Flint in the wake of the General Motors works closings. The wake of General Motors closures provided an opportune recruiting land for the Mariness thereby functioning a valuable map of protecting the state.

Michael Moore’s Sociological Perspective

From Michael Moore’s position. which I tend to portion. GM owes Flint some regard and aid and needs to acquire them back on their pess. He believes that American corporations should hold a duty to its employees to take attention of them and make what is good for the whole of the state. non merely their stockholders and board members. He has a really humanistic attack to the subject. but I frequently ask myself. isn’t Michael Moore himself besides working the people of Flint by gaining from their hurting and agony every bit good?

It was of import to me to happen an reply to this and roll up some information about Michael Moore as a individual that would be relevant to this paper. What has he done with his celebrity and luck? What has he given back to Flint. if anything? I came up with some really uplifting replies. Michael Moore made this documental utilizing his unemployment insurance cheques numbering $ 100/week ( Windsor. 2004 ) . Moore besides made a trade with Warner Brothers to be the distributer merely after they met all of his demands. His demands included the paying of the rent for two old ages for the households shown in the film every bit good as free tickets for the film for anyone with an unemployment card ( Arseneau. 2003 ) . This speaks volumes to me sing the positive motivations of Michael Moore and his seemingly echt fondness for his place town of Flint.

GM & A ; Roger Smith’s Sociological Perspective

To some people it may look like good concern for General Motors to make what they did in Flint. To me I believe it could hold had the antonym for their concern if adequate people revolted against the usage of their merchandises ; there may hold been a different result in Flint. Roger Smith’s position is from that of a corporate capitalistic concern proprietor. He answered merely to his stockholders and board members and had no moral duty to the people that were affected by his determinations. He was non a political or community leader in any manner. although he certainly had powerful political Alliess that took attention of his involvements and frailty versa.

From his capitalistic point of position. his primary aim was merely to do as much money as possible for General Motors and himself. The determination to shut the car workss would hold been made with this in head and nil more. There is nil lawfully incorrect with this attack ; in fact. many would state that it is the American manner to make concern. Similar to the struggle position. he probably believed that there must be a separation of societal categories in order for society to map and possibly he could be seen as a accelerator to achieve this.

I disagree with all of the remarks made by General Motors’ spokesman in the docudrama. nevertheless I can non truly fault him because he was merely making his occupation which was to protect and stand for the political orientation of General Motors. If he were to state anything otherwise. he would hold found himself unemployed like the remainder of the car workers and person else would take his topographic point to state the exact same things. In my sentiment. this adult male was simply a whipping boy hired to make General Motors dirty work.

Conclusion & A ; Personal Perspective

There is something decidedly incorrect with the General Motors state of affairs in Flint from a moral position. The first thing that comes to my head after watching this film is a quotation mark from another great film. In the film Spiderman it is said that “with great power. comes great responsibility” ( Raimi. 2002 ) . I think this should use in concern and authorities every bit good. peculiarly when an industry basically has an economic monopoly over an full metropolis such as Flint. Michigan. General Motors must hold known that there would be awful effects for the people of the metropolis if they were to draw out. yet they did it anyhow. If large corporations like General Motors were lawfully held accountable for the power that they possessed in Flint. possibly they would believe twice about such dramatic determinations that affected so many people.

Alternatively of General Motors seting 1000000s of dollars into things like an amusement park. they should hold been passing money on effectual retraining of its employees. They should hold spent money offering involvement free concern loans and instruction financess for ex-employees to acquire them back on their pess. At the really least they could hold invested money into topographic points that the citizens of Flint could really afford to sponsor. non merely sit the lift.

I find it rather upseting to see how much of an impact one company or industry can hold on a city’s full societal construction. I understand Michael Moore merely gives a 1 sided attack in this docudrama when discoursing the jobs in Flint. but I can non disregard or bury the people in this film who were existent and that were hurt the most. Slippery camera angles. collage redacting and an absence of a existent clip line do non take manner from the true and honest message of despair and desperation of people like the “rabbit lady” and the bosom twisting site of small kids being evicted and thrown out on the street. I can merely conceive of how events like this consequence people that live in the metropolis of Flint and how profoundly the lesions will be passed on to future coevalss in the metropolis.

While General Motors surely should portion some duty here. I think it is of import to besides observe that The United States authorities has done nil to protect its citizens from things like this. There should be policies in topographic point that discourage corporations from shuting store when there is such a immense economic tie to a metropolis like Flint. It befuddles me how a state can pass 329 billion dollars in 2001 ( Hartung. 2003 ) on military defence to protect the same citizens that they are working. neglecting. and go forthing to decease on the streets of Flint. Michigan.


Arseneau. A. ( 2003. September 24 ) . Case # 3358 Roger & A ; Me. United States. Retrieved July 15. 2005. from hypertext transfer protocol: //www. dvdverdict. com/

Hartung. W. D. ( 2003. February 14 ) . War without terminal? The costs of the new military buildup. United States. Retrieved July 15. 2005. fromhypertext transfer protocol: //www. iansa. org/iraq

Moore. M. ( Director ) . ( 2004 ) . Fahrenheit 911 [ Motion Picture ] . United States: Columbia Pictures.

Moore. M. ( Director ) . ( 1999 ) . Roger and me. [ Motion Picture ] . United States: Warner Brothers Pictures.

Raimi. S. ( Director ) . ( 2002 ) . Spiderman [ Motion Picture ] . United States: Columbia Pictures.

Windsor. S. ( 2004. February 28 ) . Preliminary to the academy awards: the many functions of Michael Moore. Detroit Free Press. Retrieved July 15. 2005. from hypertext transfer protocol: //www. freep. com/

Cite this Michael Moore’s: “Roger & Me” – A Sociological Film Review Sample

Michael Moore’s: “Roger & Me” – A Sociological Film Review Sample. (2017, Nov 02). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/michael-moores-roger-me-a-sociological-film-review-essay-sample-essay/

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