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Crim Essay 1 - Shelby Jacquemain Soc 368-004 In the film...

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Shelby Jacquemain 10/11/11 Soc 368-004 In the film Rush Hour , a well-known comedy about criminal behavior, the ways in which crime is constructed may not be readily visible amidst the humor and intense action. However, when looked at deeper, the undertones of crime as a social construction, as well as the myths about crime become apparent. Certain stereotypes concerning race and gender are fulfilled. Beneath the humor of Jackie Chan’s character’s distinct Chinese accent and Chris Tucker’s stereotypical black slang, are racial suggestions. Through this particular form of media, the initial mindset gained from the film involves primarily humor, however when viewed from a sociological standpoint concerning crime and its myths, the ideological distortions as well as what it means to fulfill a certain criminal role are seen to the viewer. The media uses stereotypes that incorporate humor to soften the blows of the misrepresentations of crime and the potential effects it could have on society’s view of criminal activity. One of the two main characters, Detective James Carter, is an African American member of the LAPD. The introducing scene portrays a situation in which he is partnering with a white man in bomb making. Within this scene, Carter is portrayed as what society today might consider a “typical” black, male criminal. He fulfills a stereotype provided mainly by the media, and it is also even “biased by everyday social life” (Rome 44). What this means is that it is a myth that the society as a whole creates. There are preconceived notions regarding what a typical black male criminal is like. It is very easy to spot a man on the street and classify him as a potential threat to one’s safety, 1
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a threat to the security of society. In the initial scene presented, Carter depicts a man that one would readily classify as a threat to society. He appears dressed in all black, in a somewhat eerie parking lot, with a large necklace that might constitute as “bling.” His mannerisms are very loud and he throws around swear words casually. During the
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