The romantic comedy
Our family wedding is a romantic comedy which depicts the cultural clash in marriages. It involves a young Africa-American man, Marcus, who studied medicine at Columbian University. While in college, he meets and falls in love with a Mexican-American girl, Lucia. They lived together for a while but none had told their parents about their relationship. When both graduate from medical school, they plan to work as volunteer doctors to help low-socioeconomic people in Laos. After a while, they decide that it’s time for marriage but they have to inform their parents about the plans. When Lucia breaks the news to her parents that she is getting married to Africa-American man, the whole family couldn’t believe her. Lucia’s parents, Miguel and Sonia, loved her and did everything possible to make her happy. They had sacrificed a lot for her education. The choice of marrying outside the culture hurt his father a lot. Both families come from different cultures which significantly differ in their views on marriage. This brings familial strife between the two fathers which almost cost their marriage.
Despite being hurt by her daughter’s marriage choice, Miguel reassures her of his support and undying love. Sonia was just supportive of her daughter’s decision because she knew that was the best thing for Lucia. Miguel takes an offense at Marcus’ family for failing to ask hand in marriage officially. This makes him and Marcus’ father, Brad, to clash in the joint family meeting. Brad argues that these cultural values are outdated and have no place in contemporary society. Miguel still insists that cultural norms need to be respected despite the social changes in modern society. When the madness in the room reach crescendo, Lucia’ mother maintains her cool. After a heated argument, both fathers calm down and marriage preparation begins. Although Miguel wasn’t hurt, he lets her daughter get married to an African-American man.
Illumination of social stratification
The movie clearly illuminates two main dimensions of social stratification; class and race. The race is widely considered as a social construct but not a biological factor. Many social scientists argue that there is no gene for “whiteness” or “blackness”. Furthermore, if the race was genetic, the racial classification across the world would be constant and the same. Race entails self-identifying groups which are based on beliefs concerning culture, ancestry, and history. It is ever-present in any society including American society. It is used to distinguish people in society. For long people have been forming racial classifications on various phenotypic features such as skin color, hair, body shape, etc. However, it has been proved that it’s not a biological factor but a social construction. Social environment plays a significant role in how individuals interpret and understand the term “race”. The social changes have enabled people to understand human diversity and race across all cultures in the world. Many cultures have some concept of race and some classification based on social interactions or phenotypic traits. This explains the different conception of race across different cultures. Unfortunately, the term “race” has been used to justify and rationale the unequal treatment of groups of people by others.
In Our Family Wedding movie, race is the major theme. Marcus and Lucia come from different races. The racial difference is illuminated through their planned marriage. Marcus comes from an African-American family while Lucia comes from Mexican-American background. These racial groups have different cultural norms which threaten to jeopardize the marriage between Marcus and Lucia. As these two diverse families try to come together for preparation of their children’s marriage, the culture seems as impeding factor. Different cultural values are evident throughout the movie. Miguel is a tradition-minded man who is ready to conserve the values and norms of the Latino community (Sharkey, 1).
The daughter getting married to a different race
He couldn’t accept that her daughter is being married by a man from a different race. On the other hand, Brad is liberal-minded and holds that such cultural norms have no place in modern society. The cultural values greatly influence Miguel’s choices in the arrangement of the marriage. Brad’s character perfectly fits looking-glass self-theory which states people develop a sense of self based on how they believe others view them. This implies that people use judgment they receive from others to measure their own worth. Brad vehemently refutes Miguel’s notion of having a traditional marriage between their children as he believes that traditional values are unnecessarily in contemporary society. Brad represents the contemporary conception of the race while Miguel represents the long-standing understanding of the concept of race.
The movie also brings various aspects of the class. Social class is a form of social stratification which impacts individuals’ lives either negatively or positively. Social class is based on wealth, level of education, occupation, and prestige. Class is classified into three main groups; high class, middle class, and low class. It is widely believed that the higher an individual is placed in the social hierarchy, the better his or her life will be; the opposite happens for those placed in the low social class. The mobility through the social hierarchy, particularly upward movement, is achieved through the acquisition of the knowledge and improvement of the living conditions. In many societies, people believe that they have an equal chance of success. However, social rank is determined by hard work and talent. Sociologists hold that social stratification is a system created to make inequalities apparent.
Class is illuminated through the families of Marcus and Lucia. Marcus is brought up in an affluent Africa-American family as his father is a famous radio host. On the other hand, Lucia was brought up in a middle-class Mexican family. Social class plays a significant role in the movie due to the social class differences between the two families. Marcus’ father seems to look down upon this family as he labels Miguel as Hombre. They don’t get along because of a different social class. Miguel seems disgruntled by Brad’s behavior of using his social status to control marriage. If they belonged in the same class, they would agree amicably because class creates discrimination.
Symbols of cultural problems
Brad and Miguel are the symbols of cultural problems ailing modern society. Miguel thought that the man should first propose marriage to the woman’s parents according to the Latino culture. Nevertheless, Marcus and his father held that these values were unnecessary in modern society. Brad reflects the social dynamism in contemporary society as he thinks traditional cultural values have no place in society. He believes that these cultural norms perpetuate discrimination in society. Brad and Miguel illuminate how racial stereotypes and social class is perpetuating discrimination in society. These two aspects of social stratification have been used widely to justify inequalities against various social groups.
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