Sick in America

sick in America

There are many views on how health care in the U.S. should be handled.  Currently the health care reform bill in is a dramatic overhaul of the U.S. health care system.  For the most recent updates on this controversial bill Click Here.

John Stossel”s special Sick in America (2007) offers a counterargument to Moore’s film Sicko.  Stossel argues for a capitalist view of health care.  His vision is a society there are no insurance companies and prices for health care services are guided by the free market.  According to Stossel, the people who benefit the most from this are the consumer.  For more details on this special, see the following link http://abcnews.go.com/2020/Stossel/story?id=3580676&page=1

Posted in Social Problems | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Sicko

sicko

There are many views on how health care in the U.S. should be handled.  Currently the health care reform bill in is a dramatic overhaul of the U.S. health care system.  For the most recent updates on this controversial bill Click Here.

Michael Moore’s film Sicko (2007) was one of the catalysts of this current public policy focus on health care.  Moore’s position in Sicko is that America needs to switch to universal health care system, so every citizen can be covered (see IMDb for a detailed summary http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0386032/plotsummary)

To see a counterargument to Moore’s thesis, see John Stossel’s Sick in America.

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Gattaca

gattaca

Gattica (1997) is movie that takes place in a future where a corporation analyzes a person’s DNA to determine where a person belongs in society.  To assure children have the best chances in life, parents genetically enhance their children.

The protagonist in the film, Vincent, is one of the last “natural” babies in society.  Due to the genetic discrimination in his society, Vincent goes to the black market to acquire a fake genetic identity, which he maintains through extreme measures in the hopes of becoming an astronaut.  See this link for a detailed summary http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119177/plotsummary

This film brings up many questions about the potential threats of genetic enhancements.  These questions are important in society today due to the current advancements in genetic technology.  For example, today being able to choose the sex of one’s baby is a hotly debated topic, because even though it is genetically possible it is still a legally gray area.  Check out this article on the topic http://www.legalzoom.com/tips-trends/lifestyle/choosing-your-babys-sex-is.

As our society advances, genetic enhancements are a likely topic of debate.  It will be interesting to see what happens.

Posted in Marriage and Family, Social Problems | Tagged

But I’m a Cheerleader

but I'm a cheerleader

But I’m a Cheerleader (1999) is a film that follows the journey of Megan a cheerleader who is sent to True Directions, a camp that is meant to turn people that are homosexual heterosexual.  Megan is shocked when her family and friends send here there, because as Megan protests “But I’m a cheerleader.”

At New Directions, campers are retrained by engaging in gender specific stereotypical behavior.  The activities camp has them do -making the male campers sit without crossing their legs, making the female campers vacuum floors, etc- seem ridiculous.

Despite the humor in this, these types of camps actually exist and the types of activities they do are similar to the ones found in the movie.

For a more detailed summary of this film go here http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0179116/plotsummary

Posted in Gender, Introduction to Sociology, Marriage and Family, Sexuality | Tagged , , , ,

Stupid in America

stupid in America

The John Stossel special Stupid in America (2006) looks at serious problems in the American education system.  Whereas most people blame school inequality on lack of funding, Stossel argues that the real problem is how the money is spent.

His ultimate argument is that a competition driven school system would improve the quality of American schools.  To do this Stossel calls for the implementation of a voucher system similar to what Belgium has, because if students can go to school where they want to bad schools will simply go out of business.

For a more detailed summary of the special, see the following link http://abcnews.go.com/2020/Stossel/story?id=1500338

Posted in Introduction to Sociology, Social Problems, Social Stratification | Tagged ,

Super Size Me

super size me

One of our nation’s fastest growing health problems is obesity and in the movie Supersize Me (2004) Morgan Spurlock endeavors to explore this social problem in a unique way -by only eating McDonald’s for 30 days.  The purpose is to see how this diet affects his physical and emotional health.  The results, of his experiment give the viewer an alarming look at the devastating health effects of fast food.

For a more detailed summary check out IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0390521/plotsummary

Posted in Social Problems | Tagged , , ,

Spencer Halpin’s Mortal Kombat

Spencer Halpin's Mortal Kombat

Video games are becoming an increasing component of popular culture in the United States.  As a result, the question many people have is how video games are socializing members of our society.  A chief concern people have about video games is the presence of extreme violence in this media.  Mortal Combat -seen as a land breaking video game franchise- is known especially for its extreme violence.

Spencer Halpin’s Mortal Kombat (2009) is a documentary that looks at the issue of violence in video games, exploring both sides of the issue.  Check out a complete summary of this film here http://www.moralkombatmovie.com/synopsis.htm

Also, this documentary is available to watch free on Hulu.com http://www.hulu.com/watch/167833/moral-kombat

Posted in Introduction to Sociology, Social Problems | Tagged , , ,