Remember The Titans: Movie Reflection
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Remember the Titans: Movie Reflection
Remember the Titans is a masterpiece in my opinion. The movie effortlessly reflects on how interpersonal communication from one culture to the other can vary. This movie centers on high school sports in the 1970s. That period is not that long after the civil war, so it strategically explains the tension between the whites and blacks (Hargie). In accordance with the movie, when the local school board is forced to integrate an all-black school with an all-white school, certain traditions are put to test. With the help of the movie reflection will be made on the concepts of self-disclosure, backhanded compliments, dyadic effect, expressiveness, conversational terms, and backchanneling cues.
The first and one of the most evident concepts that can be seen in the movie is self-disclosure. The concept of self-disclosure is basically the process through which communication is done and a person discloses information about themselves. In the movie when the team first starts off at the camp, Coach Boone orders all the teammates to get well acquainted with their roommates (Hargie). They were ordered to do so by asking questions and small details from one another like their favorite music and hobbies, it is, however, the initial stage. The intimacy that is created when a person discloses information about themselves breaks a lot of tension.
The movie further has a few backhanded compliments as well that project racism. Backhanded compliments are those which appreciate and insult at the same time. The black players are acknowledged for their skills but in a manner that it is belittling. Even Coach Boone is given a hard time regardless of his talents (McMillan). He has been told that he is good but at the same time, he is also warned that he will be fired if the team loses even a single game.
The dyadic effect in self-disclosure is when the other person feels the need to share something intimate as well in return of self-disclosure. It can be seen in the movie through Gary and Julius’s relation. The conflict that both the characters shared made them disclose a little about how they felt which made them want to get to know each other even more and self-disclose. Or when in the locker room all the players bond over jokes and songs that they liked.
Now coming to expressiveness, it is inclusive of both verbal and nonverbal messages. It is evident in all the times the African American students are stared at. The white students with their attitude want the blacks to know that they are not wanted. Further, the players bicker initially but find a way to get along. The scenes where they start humoring each other is when the ice breaks. They express how they feel towards each other and as the movie starts to progress the expressiveness increases (McMillan). Like the scene when Gary said, "I think you are a waste of God-given talent," to which Julius responds, "well attitude reflects leadership captain." This was the start of how they started to express what they felt more.
There are many conversational terms in the movie, for instance, how Coach Boone says, “I am here to win.” Or, easy for you to say, beats me, could have sworn, while you are at it and so on (Adler, Rodman and Du Pré). There are certain terms that are more common to one ethnicity, associating a race with certain terms.
The backchanneling cues are also very evident in the movie. Like when the players say, “yes sir.” Or sir to the coach to assure that they are listening ((Adler, Rodman and Du Pré). Terms like "hmm," "ah huh" are used throughout the movie when two people are having a conversation.
This movie helps look at concepts of interpersonal communication perfectly. Self-disclosure, backhanded compliments, dyadic effect, expressiveness, conversational terms and back channeling cues, the practical use of these terms is not just done in movies but on a daily basis. Whenever two people are conversing they are bound to use a concept of interpersonal communication.
Hargie, Owen. Skilled interpersonal communication: Research, theory, and practice. Routledge, 2016.
McMillan, John M. "Film Analysis: Remember the Titans." Angelo State University Social Sciences Research Journal 4.1 (2017).
Adler, Ronald B., George R. Rodman, and Athena Du Pré. Understanding human communication. Vol. 10. Oxford University Press, 2016.
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