"While the rest of the species is descended from apes, redheads are descended from cats." Mark Twain

Month: March, 2013

Filmography and Fantasy

Filmography does tackle these different forms of social stigma however film blurs the lines of reality and fantasy. Although in all genre of film even those intended for a specific audience some concepts are more represented as more realistic than others. Film adopts a different mode of address depending upon its intended audience which often allows for a different outcome or message to occur in its resolution.


Goffman – Social Stigma Theory

Through film we experience a multitude of social issues through catharsis; we can distance ourselves enough from the content for it to be harmless however its exploration of issues such as racism, sexism and inequality can have an effect on an audience’s perspective and psyche. The filmography of social matters stems from our social consciousness to be part of a collective. Erving Goffman believes that there are three different forms of social stigma:

  1. Overt or external deformations, such as scars, physical manifestations of anorexia nervosa, leprosy (leprosy stigma), or of a physical disability or social disability,      such as obesity.
  2. Deviations in personal traits, including mental illness, drug addiction, alcoholism, and criminal background are stigmatized in this way.
  3. “Tribal stigmas” are traits, imagined or real, of ethnic group, nationality, or of religion that is deemed to be a deviation from the prevailing normative ethnicity, nationality  or religion.

Representation of Otherness in Film


Depending on the intended audience the message of a film with regards to otherness can drastically change: this is most common in the variation between films aimed at adults and films aimed at children. Within film otherness normally takes the form of a physical or mental abnormality or a representation of a different culture. Films which are specifically aimed at both children and adults look into these important social factors the difference in the two however is the resolution which is offered to the audience.