Maurice’s Field Investigation

In class, we have discussed how media can be an outlet for people to expand upon their beliefs and show how they feel or what they think about everyday life in our society. These beliefs are better known as ideologies. An ideology can be defined as a belief system that is used to explain phenomena in the world through a certain lens that also makes a judgement on these things. Ideologies are seen throughout almost every media outlet, most prominently in social media and films. In the Jordan Peele directed film Us, there are a few different ideologies that can be seen throughout the movie. By using the keywords ideology and content, I will show how this movie and everything that comes with it is important and connects to media, culture, and identity.
First I have to describe the movie’s plot. The Jordan Peele directed movie Us is about a middle class black family that goes on vacation and things quickly take a turn for the worse. One night the family is approached by another family who is seemingly just trying to complete a home invasion, and the invasion is completed, they come to find out that it is a family that looks exactly like them. There are countless other “doppelganger” families just like this attacking their respective counterparts, all with the same goal: to kill. The family is forced to fight there way out and find a way to survive in a world that is becoming increasingly chaotic. There are many connections between the things we have studied in this class and the things that go on in this film. One thing we talked about is content. The reason that I picked content as on of my keywords is because that I feel like content and ideology go hand in hand when it comes to films and other forms of media. When you look closely at the content that is being presented, not just on the surface, but very deep into it. That is when you uncover the ideology that the director is trying to show. All of the content in this movie was chosen and depicted in very specific ways so that the ideology could be picked up behind the scenes. For example, all of the doppelgangers in the film were wearing the exact same clothes, using the exact same weapons to strike their targets. A red jumpsuit with one glove, and scissors as the weapon of choice. This content was very purposeful, and was used to convey many different messages. The red jumpsuit that everyone was wearing was to show how all of the doppelgangers were basically imprisoned, confined to a life that they had no choice but to live. And the uprising was simply a “prison break”. Ideologies are seen in this film in many different ways, none of them being very upfront. In our reading on chapter five titled Media and Ideology, the author says that when thinking about ideology, “the primary question about such images is not whether they were realistic reflections of society; they clearly were not….Instead, an examination of ideology is concerned with what messages these images send about the nature of the world” (153). Meaning that with ideologies, it is not about what is actually being shown, but what is being said about the real world and society through what is being shown. The ideology I got from the film was about privilege. The doppelgangers all had nothing. No opportunity, no mobility to move up in society. They were just forced to do whatever their doppelganger on the surface was doing. So although the people on the bottom were doing the same things as the people on the top, they still did not get what they thought they deserved, which is one of the reasons the uprising was planned. When you look closely to this, it translates to the ideology that the lower, working class people have a large disconnect between the middle or higher class people. Even if they look like you and do the same things that you do or even more, the simple fact that they are in a lower class leaves them at a total disadvantage. Privilege and opportunity are not always distributed equally across classes in our society, and I believe that this is something the movie speaks on.
In conclusion, the film Us is relatable to our class because through its content and the ideologies depicted in the movie, we see how culture and identity can be affected. Since ideologies are made from looking at society, which includes culture of society, we can see how people view real world events through this movie, more specifically the director. And because of this, one’s sense of identity can be altered drastically based off of how they view the world and what ideologies they believe in.

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