Boyz out the hood? Geographical, linguistic and social mobility in John Singleton’s Boyz N the Hood

Andrés Bartolomé Leal

Abstract


In contrast with many of the films said to belong to the ‘hood films’ cycle of the nineties, John Singleton’s Boyz N the Hood (1991) sober and realistically portrays the hardships of blacks’ existence in the Los Angeles’ neighbourhood of South Central. For the film, as this paper aims to demonstrate, the inability of the ‘hood residents to escape the geographical and social constrains of their environment is a direct outcome of the longdistance control that the mainly white dominant elites exert over their existence. Through the confronting lifestyles that the characters embody, the film exemplifies the different possible attitudes towards the place/race-biased identities that the life in the ‘hood motivates. In order to contest the social determinism that seems to dominate the life of the residents of the ‘hood, Tre’s character stands out as epitome of the film’s ideology in favour of education and respect, and not violence, as the way to survive this socialpolitical scheme.

Keywords


Identity; film; mobility; race; representation; Socio-Pragmatics

Full Text:

PDF

References


Althusser, L. 1971. Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays. New York: Monthly Review Press.

Bauman, Z. 2000. Liquid Modernity. Malden: Polity Press.

Berger, P. L. and T. Luckman. 1967. The Social Construction of Reality. New York: Doubleday-Anchor.

Diawara, M. 1993. “Black American Cinema: The New Realism”. Black American Cinema. Ed. Manthia Diawara. New York: Routledge. 3-25.

Davis, M. 2006. City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles. London and New York: Verso.

Dyson, E. 1993. Reflecting Black: African-American Cultural Criticism. Minneapolis: Univesity of Minnesota Press.

Elliot, A. and C. Lemert. 2006. The New Individualism. Abingdon: Routledge.

Foucault, M. 1977. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. New York: Vintage.

Foucault, M. 1981. “The Order of Discourse”. Untying the Text: A Post-Structuralist Reader. Ed. Robert Young. London: Routledge. 48-78.

Goffman, E. 1959. The Presentation of the Self in Everyday Life. New York: Doubleday-Anchor.

Giles, H. and P. Powesland. 1997. “Accomodation Theory”. Sociolinguistics. Eds. Nikolas Coupland and Adam Jarowski. London: MacMillan. 232-239.

Hewstone, M. and H. Giles. 1997. “Social Groups and Social Stereotypes”. Sociolinguistics. Eds. Nikolas Coupland and Adam Jaworski. London: MacMillan. 270-283.

Hall, S. 1997. “The Spectacle of the ‘Other’”. Representation: Cultural Representations and Cultural Practices. Ed. Stuart Hall. London: Sage Publications. 223-290.

Jay, T. 2000. Why We Curse: A Neuro-Psycho-Social Theory of Speech. Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Co.

Massood, P. J. 1996. “Mapping the Hood: The Genealogy of City Space in “Boyz N the Hood and Menace II society”. Cinema Journal 35 (2): 85-97.

Penas Ibáñez, B. 2006. “The Signifiers of the Self: A Sociopragmatic Account of Linguistic Diversity and the Discursive Construction of Identities”. Interculturalism: Between Identity and Diversity. Eds. Beatriz Penas Ibáñez and Carmen López Sáenz. Bern, New York: Peter Lang. 227-245.

Sassen, S. 2006. Cities in a World Economy. Thousand Oaks, London, New Dehli: Pine Forge Press.

Smith, N. 2002. “New Globalisation, New Urbanism: Gentrification as a Global Urban Strategy”. Antipode 34 (3): 427-450.

Wiegman, R. 1993. “Feminism, ‘The Boyz’ and Other Matters Regarding the Male”. Screening the Male: Exploring Masculinities in Hollywood Cinema. Eds. Steven Cohan and Ina Rae Hark. New York: Routledge. 173-193.




DOI: https://doi.org/10.18172/jes.2615

Copyright (c) 2013 Andrés Bartolomé Leal

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

© Universidad de La Rioja, 2013

ISSN 1576-6357

EISSN 1695-4300