An Analysis of Minority Groups in Los Angeles Embracing the Popular Culture of Gang Life in the Film Colors Directed by Dennis Hopper

Category: Culture
Last Updated: 13 Mar 2023
Pages: 3 Views: 80

In the film Colors directed by Dennis Hopper, minority groups in Los Angeles embraced the popular culture of gang life throughout the 1980's and early 90's. Many Chicanos and African American people living in low-income communities became affiliated with gangs to become socially accepted in society. Gang culture throughout the late 19h century has become the predecessor in the streets of Los Angeles as it was embraced by men, women, and teens of minority groups. Over the years, gangs projected the statement of Machismo towards people living in and around Los Angeles's poor neighborhoods. Although the film presented the harsh realities of living as a minority in society, it created stigma towards Chicanos and African Americans who challenged groups for power over territory and demonstrated opposition towards the law. As a form of popular culture, the sociological perspective of gangs became ethnocentric to some audiences as others socially accepted these groups. Following this, the film targeted audiences who can relate to the norms and values of gang life in the 80's and 90's. Yet, this form of popular culture has influenced people to create a self-identity through music, fashion and socialization.

Although Hooper projects the challenges and repercussions of gangs in poor neighborhoods, it was popularized asa culture for minority groups to embrace in American sOciety. Throughout the film, the popular culture of gangs represented by most Chicanos and African Americans were socially challenged by the Machismo they expressed in society. These minority groups that represent their gang culture had project themselves as masculine and powerful over others. Although the representation of Machismo in popular culture signified empowerment of minorities, it labeled Chicanos and African Americans as deviant people. This created stigma towards racial groups as they were criminalized for demonstrating violence towards people and law enforcement. In corespondence to the film, the manifestation of crime became generalized towards Latin American and African American groups as they were labeled and sanctioned by most of societies institutions. As Chicanos and African Americans proudlly represented this popular culture in the late 19" century, it was projected and embraced by people in society. But society challenged the culture and prevented people from demonstrating their liberal rights and freedom of expression.

Colors exemplifies the societal forces of oppression towards minority groups as they were physically and racially discriminated by law enforcement. As the film centralizes around the abuse of power in the dysfunctional institution of law enforcement, Hooper gives a visual understanding of police exerting their power towards people of color due to violence, drug distribution, and breaking the law. Although gangs in the film respected law enforcement, they were still over powered by authority as they were physically abused and killed. Hence, Colors exemplifies that gangs not only fought against each other over power and territory; they demonstrated retaliation towards law enforcement due to the injustices against them in America's dysfunctional society. As this film exemplifies the social injustices and labels towards minorities that embrace the popularized culture of gangs, one can learn that people of color were constantly marginalized throughout society. People can also contextualize evolution of society's dysfunctions of gang culture and law enforcement in the late 19h century to the present.

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The de facto of manifested oppression in American society towards people of color is still visible in various communities populated with Chicanos, African Americans and whites as of today. The audience should learn the lesson that although gang culture isn't popularized in current society compared to a few decades ago, many people are confronted by the ongoing by racial and social discrimination by other cultures as well as law enforcement. Also, the comparison of gang culture in the late 80's and early 90's to today's society is not as prominent as before throughout social media in America. Overall, one should understand that minority represented in the film Colors felt comfortable embracing and demonstrating their social identity associated with gang culture has naturalized in today's American society.

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An Analysis of Minority Groups in Los Angeles Embracing the Popular Culture of Gang Life in the Film Colors Directed by Dennis Hopper. (2023, Mar 13). Retrieved from

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