Saturday, January 3, 2015

snobby white chicks

This post was contributed by Nari Kim from this fall's introductory sociology class. This post was later cross-posted to The Sociological Cinema.

In this clip from the movie White Chicks, FBI agents, Kevin and Marcus (played by Shawn Wayans and Marlon Wayans), pick up the Vandergeld twins whom they are to supposed to protect. The sisters (played by Brittany Daniel and Jaime KIng) are white, young, and rich, as shown through their consumption of expensive goods such as private jet and designer clothes. Upon meeting, one sister demeans the agents by declaring “we already gave to the United Negro Fund.” Taken a bit back, the agents explain that they are supposed to drive them to their destination and protect them while there. In response, the women throw their bags at the agents and order them to clean up their dog's mess. As they get situated in the car, Marcus is surprised to discover that he is relegated to the cargo area as his seat is reserved for the dog. While driving, the women further bask in their privilege, noting that this isn't just “a” week, but “the” week at the Hamptons, and that only the "hottest of the hottest" (i.e., themselves) will be on the cover of the local magazine, detailing the lives of the rich and famous. In all, the twins make no effort to disguise their assumption of superiority to the agents by virtue of race and class. This clip would serve to humorously introduce any of several important stratification-relevant concepts, including status inequality, white privilege, and conspicuous consumption. 

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