Free essay on movie responses

1) “ Shirts & Skins: The Sociology of Basketball” is a documentary that highly emphasizes the importance of teamwork, community and togetherness which comes about from team sport. The subjects of the documentary surprisingly cover all ethnic and gender backgrounds, showing a sense of camaraderie that seems to transcend their normal sociological differences. One of the biggest unifying elements in basketball seems to be a need to subsume one’s ego in order to meld together into a whole; to that end, any prejudices or biases these people have against each other normally would simply be surrendered for the sake of the team. In that respect, they no longer become black or white, man or woman, but simply teammates. The strong conviction and dedication they have to each other and the game is presented as a positive thing from a sociological perspective.
2) “ The Kindness of Strangers: Altruism and Human Nature” discusses the nature of altruism and how it fits into human behavior. In essence, the film argues that altruism – the act of helping others with no benefit to yourself – is alive and well despite abundant evidence that it should not exist. However, I would argue that few behaviors are truly altruistic, especially on a subconscious level; as we are communal creatures, our priority is not just to ourselves, but our community. There is a selfish element to that, whether we admit it or not – helping the group means that much more help and protection will be returned to you as per the rules of society. To that end, altruism is just as much a defense mechanism linked to our survival through the ingratiation of ourselves into a protective group as it is a way to selflessly help others.