This is “Recommended Viewing”, section 6.5 from the book 21st Century American Government and Politics (v. 1.0).
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42: Forty Two Up (1999). The sixth and final installment of Michael Apted’s unprecedented documentary film chronicling the lives of fourteen British men and women in seven-year intervals. The subjects represent a cross-section of British society, and their life stories depict a variety of socialization experiences and political orientations. This series of documentaries, beginning with Seven Up, is the only film depiction of socialization over the life course.
American Family (2002). A PBS dramatic series that examines the everyday lives of members of an extended Latino family.
American History X (1998). An examination of two brothers who are drawn into a neo-Nazi skinhead gang. The film examines family socialization as the initial source of one brother’s racism, which is reinforced in prison and in a gang.
An American Family (1973), American Family Revisited (1983), Lance Loud!: A Death in an American Family (2003). A television documentary series capturing the life and times of the Loud family; the series was one of the first forays into “reality TV” and became controversial as the family dealt publicly with many difficult life situations, including issues of sexual orientation and divorce.
The Breakfast Club (1985). This film explores diverse socialization experiences in the home, school, and peer group of several high school students forced to do detention together in the school library.
Dead End (1937). An examination of the problems, including cultural conflicts, faced by New York City residents as they live through their impressionable years during the Great Depression.
Easy Rider (1969). This portrayal of two young societal dropouts who ride motorcycles across the American southwest depicts various scenes of the late 1960s counterculture.
Rebel without a Cause (1955). James Dean portrays a troubled and misunderstood middle-class 1950s-era youth in this classic depiction of generational conflict.
River’s Edge (1987). A dark portrayal of 1980s youth culture based on a true story of friends who do not report the murder of a woman in their group by her boyfriend. The film deals with issues, such as family socialization in homes with absentee parents and peer-group influence. It was selected as the “Film That Mattered” for the 1980s by the LA International Film Festival.
Slacker (1991). This documentary-style film of twentysomethings living on the edge of society in Austin, Texas, contributed to the image of 1990s youth culture as aimless and bored.