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Durkheim's theory and the film "Whale Rider"

Please help me with following questions. I am looking for a thorough application of the theory to the movie content and then I can write mt essay from a personal perspective. Thank you.

1. How can Emile Durkheim's perspective as found in Chapter 7 of his Elementary Forms of the Religious Life be applied to the film "Whale Rider".

2. How can the film be seen to support Durkheim's "religious" theory of society? You may also draw on the Ritzer (classical sociological theory) chapter (on durkheim) and cite that. Include at least three or four relevant citations from Durkheim's Chapter 7 (Elementary Forms of Religious Life, Origins of these Beliefs) and Ritzer.

3. Possible topics of discussion could relate to totemism, the "cult of the individual," and/or the sacred and profane, etc. How you connect these to your analysis of Pai's experience is up to you. In general, of course, the idea is to support Durkheim's argument of society as both a moral and a spiritual entity.

4. In analyzing "Whale Rider" in relation to Durkheim you should also consider how (if at all) Pai's experiences may relate to your own. You are free to write in the first person if you wish. Are there any aspects or dimensions or experiences in your own life that Durkheim enables you to understand? After all, Durkheim made his case for society as being a "religious" phenomenon because he felt it helped to explain current society.

5. After discussing how Durkheim might be applied to "Whale Rider," you could then consider how Pai and the Maori subculture of which she is a part might be explained from the perspective of Marx which we discussed at the beginning of class. For example, what obstacles does she face as a female in regard to the subculture she inhabits? In that case, you could draw on either "The Communist Manifesto" and/or the Ritzer chapter on Marx in order to support your critique of Durkheim's view of "Whale Rider."

6. This is not meant to be some kind of "objective" research paper. So at the most basic level, I'd like them to be reflections of your personal thoughts as a human being generally.

7. You should cite at least one scene from the film but probably no more than three, although it's up to you.

Solution Summary

By responding to the questions, this solution applies Emile Durkheim's perspective on religious life to the film "Whale Rider". References are provided.