2 May 2013
Sociological Movie Review:
Remember The Titans
Remember the Titans begins by Sheryl Yoast narrating and explaining the integration forced by the school board that took place in Alexandra, Virginia in 1971. Upon this integration, Herman Boone, an African American football coach, was given the head coaching position at the new school TC Williams. Because Boone lost his previous job in a similar situation with the other prospect being far less qualified, he didn't want to take the position of the original head coach in Virginia, Bill Yoast. However, in one of the early opening scenes, Boone walked out of his house to be greeted by many other African Americans in the community that needed his support and leadership. Boone was quick to realize the importance of this head coaching position on the community and the changing times in Virginia in the 70's. It was clear there was a vast amount of racism present at this time and all whites held the power. However, with this new position, Boone was determined to break that norm and prove he, as well as many other African Americans, deserved just as much respect.
Power, as defined in lecture, is the probability of carrying out one's own will despite resistance. Throughout Remember the Titans, this was absolutely the case with the white individuals. Not only did whites exert power over African Americans, but simply over anyone that was different from the norm. For example, Ronnie Bass plays a "hippie" from California that everyone has deemed a homosexual. Simply walking through the halls of his high school, white males told him he's not welcome there, either.
In addition to the very prominent power that is demonstrated in this movie, there is also extreme dominance. Dominant behavior or domination refers to the probability a command will be obeyed by a given group of persons. However, the dominance is not only exuded by the white characters, but also by one of black characters. Coach Boone from the very beginning demands dominance from his players. The irony of his dominance is his lack of power, but that does not slow him down one bit. At the beginning of the film, Boone demonstrates complete dominance over one of his white defensemen and demands his player refer to him as "daddy." The white player challenges Boone despite his role as coach and his far more superior position.
Herman Boone forces his team to come together and sets an example for the community by treating all equally. He specifically points this out to his assistant coach, Yoast, as he calls him out for only babying the black players. Boone asks Yoast why he only tries to reach out to the black players after Boone has chewed them out, but not the white players. He tells Yoast, "Now I may be a mean cuss. But I'm the same mean cuss with everybody out there on that football field." By demonstrating this equal behavior and getting his coaching staff and players to do the same, he gains much more power and is able to have full dominance over his football team.
Boone proved the ability to treat people equally and in turn elicited the same response out of his rather stubborn assistant, Bill Yoast. By the end of the movie, Yoast realized his duty and responsibility to reciprocate. Though Yoast suffered the public consequence of sticking up for his team and community, the Titans began a movement in their community for all around change.