Extra Credit-Movie Analysis
6 May 2013
Key Concepts: Agency- the extent to which people have control over there actions
Structure: ordered relations or patterned expectations that guide social interactions
Social construction: not natural, biological, or inherent, varies across time- we as a society give things meaning but we are not simply free to decide whether we subscribe to these ideas or not
The movie Office Space highlighted many sociological themes that we have discussed throughout class. For starters, the main character Peter is fed up with living out the societal construct of working a full time job from nine to five. He sees his work as mundane and unfulfilling. Peter then decides to use the agency he has to finally take action. Peter starts to fall into a pattern of not showing up to work because he does "not feel like it," basically in an effort to be fired. His boss even asks him to come into work on Saturday and Sunday and he does not show up for that either. This type of behavior goes against what people see as normal. Moving up the ladder within your job is a goal of almost every employee out there. This is why his co-workers and friends react they way they do. Furthermore, when Peter first tells his co-workers they are alarmed and try to convince him that he has to "pay his dues" now in order reap the benefits later. However, Peter has none of that and continues on his pattern. Peter is upset with the structure of society and how things seem to be working for him. So, unlike most, he decides he needs to take action to try and get fired so he can do what he wants, and to get out of his everyday rut. The agency Peter shows over his life begins to give him more confidence with everything. He even blatantly asks a woman out that is very attractive and she says yes. Furthermore, his plan to get fired takes an odd turn that he doesn't expect. There are consultants that come into interview all the employees of the company he works at and they absolutely love Peter, and they want to promote him because of his explanation why he does not work hard. This sort of behavior really is confusing because Peter basically admits that he does not work and the consultants then come to there own conclusions that it is Peters boss' fault that there is no incentives given for people to work hard. Again, this sort of behavior definitely goes against societal constructs in regards to the work force. In almost all scenarios when you are being interviewed or questioned about the importance of your work or what exactly you do you would think the best way to blow people out of the water would be to try and make yourself look better. However, in the end Peter ends up conforming back to societal norms that are being pushed upon him by society and he ends up getting a construction job that makes him happy with himself. Furthermore, this movie exemplifies the importance of structure and agency, as well as, societal constructs and how they shape our decisions in every day life.