Sociology Paper on the Move the Departed

1136 words 5 pages
From watching the 2006 film titled “The Departed”, I argue that the social message of the film is not just identity but the changing of identity through socialization. This can best be described through the symbolic interaction theory. Like the main characters of the film, people give meaning to their behavior based on the meaning they impose on objects, events and other behaviors (Anderson & Taylor, 2009). The film’s main protagonist Bill Costigan and main antagonist Colin Sullivan both share similar backgrounds and culture. Costigan “being born into a family with criminal backgrounds”, rebels against the social norm like his father and instead becomes an undercover state police officer. Sullivan on the other hand “with influence from …show more content…

This helps to better understand Costello in the scene where he is trading microprocessors with the Chinese for money. Costello condescendingly tells the Chinese of the usual customs they have when doing important deals. For example not bringing automatic weapons to a deal because they bring a life sentence if caught with one. Costigan is accused of being a “lace curtain” by Staff Sergeant Dignam while being interviewed to become an undercover officer. This term is used to describe Irish people who are trying to “climb the social ladder”. This shows that even in the Irish community there was conflict between classes, and how a person or family’s actions to climb the social ladder were scrutinized. In one of the first lines of the movie Costello states that he does not want to be a product of his environment. He wants his environment to be a product of him. Costello tries to influence his environment through deviance. Deviance can be described as behavior that is recognized as violating expected rules and norms (Anderson & Taylor, 2009). One example of this is when Costello tells Costigan that the Italians would kill him for roughing up a couple of their guys. Costello intervenes to save Costigan by killing the Italians and pinning the murder on another Italian. This action had many different effects. Costigan was now working for Costello. Sullivan received a promotion for solving the case, even though he knew