Welcome to The Sociological Cinema!
This site is designed to help sociology instructors incorporate videos into their classes. Check out our blog and search our growing database of video clips. Each clip is tagged with appropriate sociological themes and organized for busy instructors. We invite you to join in the discussion to comment on how you have used the videos in your classes, and to submit a clip of your own. Enjoy!
Video of the Week
Earlier this month, The Walt Disney Company filed an application to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office with the aim of securing the phrase "Día de los Muertos," or "Day of the Dead." The filing coincides with its plans to release a film this fall about the traditional holiday known as Dia de los Muertos, which is celebrated throughout Latin America. Predictably, Disney's filing has been controversial, and after a backlash via social media channels, Disney withdrew the application. The incident begs important questions about cultural appropriation and commodification, which are ubiquitous in contemporary capitalism.
Our video of the week similarly examines Fair Trade, or "Relationship," coffee. In the video, the coffee importer relates a narrative about the harvesting of their coffee beans with the intent of making their product appear distinctive in the marketplace. In a sense, the importer's narrative can be understood as appropriating images of the toiling Latin, family farmer for the purpose of somehow rendering their coffee more authentic to distant consumers. But is this coffee importer's cultural appropriation comparable to The Walt Disney Company's attempt to own the name of a Latin holiday? ... Read more / Add comment.