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Social Groups In A Bug’s Life

In A Bug’s Life in my perspective of social groups of primary, in-groups, and reference groups. I would have to say that the primary group would be the colony itself. In definition the primary group is a group characterized by intimate, long term, face-to-face association and cooperation. (Henslin, 2017) They all work together and all have an understanding to make sure they have food and take care of the colony as a whole and not just one. They play the role of a family. The next group would be the in-group. What is an “in-group” The in-group(s) groups that toward which feels loyalty. Henslin, 2017)

I would have to say that the in-groups would be the circus bugs toward Flic, they felt a sort of loyalty to him since he helped them get away from their terrible owner or so called circus leader. They I would say the other in-groups would be the ants to their queen and princess. They wanted to make sure they were safe and they looked to them for leadership. Then there is the reference group which I am still not quite sure if I am labeling them right. Since a reference group if defined as a group that people use as standards to evaluate themselves.

I would say it’s the queen and princess. The princess has some big shoes to fill since she has to be the queen next so she has to follow the process of which the queen has made for her to be the next air. Plus they are the only ones with titles and the only ones that everyone looks to for the next move in the colony to take. If we were to go into depth of just Flik’s point of view in the move “A Bugs Life” the Primary group of his, would be the colony itself. They are the ones that teach him wrong from right and try to tell him what to believe, even though he goes against it later.

The colony could also be his reference group. Since a reference group identifies him as just an ant and nothing more. Then to explain Flik’s in-groups would have to be the Queen, Princess Atta, and Dot. Flik does show a sense of loyalty to them. He looks for the approval and appreciation of his contributions that he has made or tried to them. The grass hoppers are the out group on account that they do antagonize the colony of ants every year. The grasshoppers in “A Bug’s Life” are the out group because of how they bully the ants.

They control and scare them into collecting food of them even though they do not need the food. The head grasshopper named Hopper makes it clear to his pack, “if we let one ant stand up to us then they all might stand up. Those puny little ants outnumber us 100-1 and if they ever figure that out, there goes our way of life. It’s not about food, it’s about keeping those ants in line” (A Bug’s Life). The ants have antagonistic feelings for the grasshoppers; they fear them because they are bigger bugs and they have been taught to fear the bully.

Throughout the movie, Princess Atta mostly revealed a democratic leadership style. She trusted in the opinions of the colony to make decisions. A democratic leader is a leader who leads by trying to reach a consensus. (Henslin, 2017) Which means that the leader asks the advice and tries to use voting to determine which decision is right one to make. For example, when Atta had Flik on trial for ruining the harvest food prepared for the grasshoppers, she deliberated with council members on allowing Flik to venture to the “city” to find “bigger, tougher, bugs” to help them fight the grasshoppers.

Later in the movie Princess Atta shows an authoritarian leadership style when she tells flick to leave after she finds out the bugs are just circus bugs and not warriors. She does not ask the colonies’ or the queen’s permission before she banishes flick. An authoritarian leader is a leader who leads by giving orders. (Henslin, 2017) In this movie I haven’t seen or noticed any of laissez-faire leadership. Laissez-faire leader is an individual who leads by being highly permissive. Princess Atta went from a democratic leader to authoritarian leader then at the end back to democratic leader.

Or even one I thought might also fit would be an expressive leader. She increased harmony with in the colony and the circus bugs to minimize conflict and work together. Which I thought would have been a good and smart choice. Labeling theory is best described as the view, developed by symbolic interactionist, that the labels people are given affect their own and others’ perceptions of them, thus channeling their behavior into de that the labels people are given affect their own & others’ perception of them, thus channeling their behavior into either deviance or conformity.

This theory “focuses on, the significance of reputations, how they help set us on paths that propel us into deviance or that divert us away from it. (Henslin, 2017) Flick was always in his own world trying to help everyone, but the colony is used to its traditional ways so they saw flick as different, selfish, and irresponsible. Flick made a mistake which caused the grasshoppers to threaten the ant’s way of life; Flick was bothered that he would be an outcast.

After Princess Atta gives him a second chance to prove himself and his colony that he is more than an entitled screw up. According to control theory the idea that two control systems – inner controls and outer controls- work against one’s tendencies to deviate. (Henslin, 2017) Flik’s outer controls seem to be presented when he finds out that they are not warrior bugs but circus bugs. He is lying to the colony and to princess Atta.

He then goes further to cover his lie and make everyone build a bird to cover his tracks so the other bugs don’t really have to fight. At the beginning of the movie Flik does show his outer side when he decided to step up to Hopper to let Dot go. But of course he did coward down. His most inner controls comes out in the end; even when he was beat down he got back up and said the truth. Even though it could mean that would die, He stood up to Hopper and explained that the ants do not need grasshoppers. Grasshoppers need them. Which took courage.

Lastly Differential Association Theory which can be explained to indicate that associating with some groups results in learning “excess of definitions” of deviance, and greater likelihood that one will become deviant. (Henslin, 2017) In the movie ‘The Bugs Life’, Flik is the character who tried to help his colony with his inventions and tried to influence them not to deviate. In every part of this movie, Flik was trying save and create a new path for his friends. In the beginning of the movie everyone neglected him, but at the ending everyone welcomed his ideas. They gave him encouragement in his inventions.

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