When the Levees Broke

T.J. Mruz
When the Levees Broke, a film documenting the many troubles and hardships that were endured by the citizens of New Orleans during hurricane Katrina was cleverly put together by Spike Lee, to not only display the mere facts of the damage that was inflicted but to also get inside the heads of those who witnessed it firsthand. It would be easy and much more bearable for our conscience to look at the events in plain black and white terms, turning on the newscasts and looking at the trashed homes, flooded streets, and helicopter rescues. Or perhaps tuning in to see what sort of damage control plan the government is implementing to make sure that the situation does not escalate. This is what many average Americans were doing on a daily basis to keep up with the current events immediately after the hurricane struck, and to their credit they were well informed on the logistics of the story. From a sociological perspective however, the story is much deeper as there are countless pieces of information that can be put together to get a better sense of what happened and how it was impacted by the society that we live in. When talking about the lower ninth ward, in particular, a sociologist would try and make sense of why there is a higher concentration of African Americans in the area, and how is it that they have a harder time finding employment. They would immediately see how diversity is intertwined with the news story, and would be able to theorize how the situation could potentially have been different had any of the components of the equation been different. Along with looking at the area of focus, they would also be monitoring the general morale of the nation as a whole, and would try and decipher how the media and other channels of communication affected the population’s beliefs. The sociological perspective has the ability to shed more light on issues that are already accepted to be generally understood.
To fully comprehend Hurricane...