Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Gattaca Insights

In the film “Gattaca”, the society in which they live has created an ideology that only the strongest will survive, that only people who have perfect, or almost perfect, DNA can perform in certain jobs and succeed in life. In chapter six, we read the section about how ideologies can act as a form of control. In Gattaca people believe that the elite group consists of the group with the most perfect DNA and no one is to question this ideal. However, as we see in Gattaca the idea of manufactured consent, in which employees, or in this instance members of society, adopt and enforce the legitimate power of the social organization and the system in place. In some cases an organization may experience resistance. In the film we can see a few cases in which people demonstrate resistance to the power. The janitor who helps Vincent to destroy his evidence by taking the cup that he had drank out of, when Irene doesn’t speak up to the officer and protects Vincent’s secret and again in the end when the doctor sees from his urine sample that he is an invalid, yet says nothing and changes the screen to show him as a valid. These are a prime examples of resistance to power and control.

Another way in which the “social policy” of this community is enforced is through various forms of surveillance and power. Before Vincent can be hired on at Gattaca, he has to go to an “interview”, which consists of a urine analysis to determine his genetic make up. In addition, in order to get in and out of work blood samples must be taken in order to confirm his identity, by doing things of this nature employees are subject to constant surveillance. In Gattaca they have taken information technology to the next level, there are even stations where you can have someone else’s DNA tested for genetic superiority. In this respect an organization, or society exerts coercive control over its’ members by giving the perception that genetic weakness leads to poorer work assignments and living conditions.

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