1. Full Citation of media segment:
Blade Runner. 1982. Directed by: Ridley Scott Writing credits: Hampton Fancher David Webb Peoples (screenplay) Philip K. Dick (based on the novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”
2. What aspects of this media segment or situation brought you to consider it for analysis? What makes this interesting or problematic from a sociological perspective?
The film immediately places us in a dystopian futuristic (2019) society in which nearly all genetically normal humans have migrated off of the planed due to post-apocalyptic radiation levels and where mankind has developed advanced genetic technologies capable of creating synthetic humans called Replicants. These genetically engineered humans are designed for labor or sexual entertainment purposes. All Replicants are manufactured by the Tyrell Corporation on Earth but they are illegal on Earth. If a synthetic human does manage to return to the planet Blade Runners are employed to hunt down and exterminate the problem. Replicants have a built in life span of only 4 years. Rick Deckard is a blade runner, or a legalized bounty hunter of replicants. We learn that a group of Replicants has escaped their space quarantine and has found their way to future Los Angeles to seek out a way to extend their very intense but short life span. Blade Runner explores both humans and synthetic humans as Marxian commodities in a capitalistic society. The film’s dystopian human future uses Weber’s concept of rationalization to illustrate a future world dehumanized into an unimaginable society.
3. What sociological perspectives or theories best explain what is happening within the media segment or situation?
Future Earth is a grimy, violent world inhabited by the genetically undesirable and diseased humans unable to leave Earth due to their genetic undesirability as part of Earth’s off world future society morals and values. Earth’s remaining society is rationalized as a true smelting pot of all predictable future nationalities all with calculated undesirable characteristics. Replicants are nearly indistinguishable from humans but are dehumanized to the level that their extermination is law.
1. The following scene initiate discussions about society’s expectations and beliefs of dehumanized value structures regarding the Replicants:
Deckard: [narrating] The report read "Routine retirement of a replicant." That didn't make me feel any better about shooting a woman in the back.
2. The following scene illustrates the film’s ability to express the unsocial, emotionally inexperienced dehumanized viewpoints of the Replicant to evaluate and initiate a deeper understanding of present social morals and values:
Holden: You're in a desert, walking along in the sand, when all of a sudden you look down... Leon: What one? Holden: What? Leon: What desert? Holden: It doesn't make any difference what desert, it's completely hypothetical. Leon: But, how come I'd be there? Holden: Maybe you're fed up. Maybe you want to be by yourself. Who knows? You look down and see a tortoise, Leon. It's crawling toward you... Leon: Tortoise? What's that? Holden: [irritated by Leon's interruptions] You know what a turtle is? Leon: Of course! Holden: Same thing. Leon: I've never seen a turtle... But I understand what you mean. Holden: You reach down and you flip the tortoise over on its back, Leon. Leon: Do you make up these questions, Mr. Holden? Or do they write 'em down for you? Holden: The tortoise lays on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun, beating its legs trying to turn itself over, but it can't. Not without your help. But you're not helping. Leon: [angry at the suggestion] What do you mean, I'm not helping? Holden: I mean: you're not helping! Why is that, Leon? [Leon has become