Tags: social mvmts/social change/resistance, alienation, critical theory, dehumanization, empowerment, public sociology, social problems, 00 to 05 mins
Summary: Sociologists often get labeled as cynical due to our focus on social problems and inequalities. This video montage, featuring Charlie Chaplin’s famous speech from The Great Dictator (1940), features an uplifting, inspiring message that may be used as a counterpoint to the more depressing aspects of social reality that sociologists highlight in the classroom. In the vein of critical theorists such as Max Horkheimer or Herbert Marcuse, Chaplin’s speech confronts the totalitarianism and dehumanization that is endemic to our current social order. This video is especially powerful in that it pairs poetic language with stark images of starvation and pollution, as well as with more uplifting images of love, community, and empowerment. The clip may be especially useful at the end of the semester, when students are left with the question: “Where do we go from here?” Additionally, it may serve useful as a jumping off point for discussions of public sociology and the important role of sociology in promoting positive social change. In the words of Chaplin: “To those who can hear me, I say, do not despair. The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish.”
Submitted By: Dave Paul Strohecker (@dpsFTW)
Got any videos?
Are you finding useful videos for your classes? Do you have good videos you use in your own classes? Please consider submitting your videos here and helping us build our database!