The following essay is based on the movie Elysium which conveys a futuristic view of humanity’s evolution whereby Earth’s wealthiest fled the planet to preserve their way of life leaving the financially unstable and the sickly behind. Social inequality in the film Elysium is constructed by depicting a dystopian society (Elysium 2013) This can be evidenced through the imagery, architecture, agricultural landscape, language, ideas, values and norms portrayed in the movie (Giddens, A 2009). Social inequality in the film Elysium is constructed by depicting a dystopian society. Elysium explores sociological themes such as class issues, poverty, immigration, over population, healthcare and exploitation, social inequality, mobility. Social inequality is depicted on earth whereby its citizens were classified as a minority group and were limited to their social status and class stratification (Elysium 2013). First we consider material inequality which was evident in the movie due to disparities of income, property and wealth. Secondly, inequality associated with employment and the labour market and thirdly, inequality arising from the lack of healthcare resources and education system. Social mobility is the movement of an individual or a group in a social position to upper or lower classes in the means of health status, literacy and better standard of living through migration to Elysium as asylum seekers to escape their socio- economic level as refugees (Dowd, J.J 2010). Attributes such as age, gender, race or ethnicity further distinguish people in terms of class and status in context of femininity and hegemonic masculinity, depicting the dominant social position of men and women in Elysium and on earth on how gender in terms of employment are present on earth as well. Most importantly how all these pieces of popular culture is reflective to the current Australian society in their similarities and disparities. Social mobility is essential to the plot of the movie as most of the citizens on earth aspire to a higher social class for a better standard of living (Dowd, J.J 2010). Social inequality is constructed in the film in the film by depicting a dystopian society. This is evidenced through the imagery of earth, the architecture of buildings in ruins, landscape, language, ideas and norms. The infrastructure on earth is dilapidated, not maintained and cared for, the environment is a barren wasteland with high levels of pollution from industrial outlets. Earth was mainly used for the manufacturing of droids where the lead character was employed for assembling them. Droids were utilized to police and keep order on the vastly populated earth. Lack of educational facilities on Earth affected children who became “dreamers” for a better world with an inevitable future of despair (Elysium 2013). The work force on these droid factories showed the disparities of status in the employment hierarchy. John Carlyle the CEO of Amardyne, had a separate office whereas the employees and supervisors were on the floor. The CEO only intervened when there was adherence in production. The character portrayed emotional detachment to the employees treating them as if they were mere objects. (Western, M & Baxter, J 2007). In Elysium, the environment had a very sterile and futuristic look, well planned and idyllic to the citizens. Everything on earth is in despair and decline, the rich on the other hand have every resource available to them in their paradise in space. The landscape is beautifully maintained, there is no pollution and it projects the image of utopia. The disparities between the two worlds is evident and the introduction of the movie constructs this accurately for the viewer’s portraying the severe inequality in the social class stratification. On Elysium the privileged strive to preserve their prestige lifestyle whilst on Earth the citizens are left to fend for themselves to struggle amongst overpopulation, poverty, low healthcare standards....
References: 12. Elysium, 2013. Film. Directed by Neil Blomkamp. USA. TriStar Pictures.
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