Post #2 “House of Sand and Fog

The movie that we have started to watch in class (which I have finished  at home) “House of Sand and Fog” has many key concepts of Weber that we have spoken about in class. The two main characters focus was about their class though they are seemingly very different.

Kathy and Berhrani live a double life with different personalities in both. They both make it seem as if they have everything under control until it all does downhill and are so overwhelmed that they just keep digging a hole. Their whole reasoning is to keep their debt a secret. They don’t care who they step on to get where they need to go.

It seems that Behranis life is led by instrumental and traditional rational. He calculates all expenses meticulously and even reconstructs his house in the cheapest way possible to bring up the cost of the house and make a large profit and finally live the lifestyle that he has been pretending to live. Every time that Behrani and his wife get into an argument  he ends up getting physical with her. His actions are controlled by traditional habits and this can be seen by him saying that “this is the way it’s always been done. He put his foot down and there is no room to negotiate.

Everything that Kathy did in the film was driven by affective social action. Every step that she took was driven solely on emotion. The film portrays her as having lack of moral regulations (Anomie). She did not mention to her parents that her life was in shambles. She kept that she was left by her husband less than a year ago and that she was evicted from her house. Her emotions led her to disregard the mail that could have prevented this whole headache in the first place! She also used the officer to her advantage in a way to get what she wanted.

Another concept that can be seen is that of affective action. Barhami has this urge to correct anyone and everyone who don’t refer to him as Colonel Berhani. This also pertains to Kathy; when people spoke about Berhani’s house she claimed it was her house. They both want and reminisce about their previous lives.


5 responses to “Post #2 “House of Sand and Fog

  1. I agree with this ! i really like the movie we have started in class on ” The House of Sand and Fog” i realized that Kathy’s character played a big role in anomie because she never cleaned after her self or her house, she seemed depressed and lonely and not driven to work hard, i felt she had no work ethic at all so far. this all is based around anomie to describe her character because she has lack of moral regulation in her life in general. i feel that alienation from other people is also something i would label her as because she has become estranged from her product of labor and from people in general like her husband that left her and her family that she hies everything from. i agree that both Berhani and Kathy can be seen as affective action as well because they both claim something that does not exist anymore. for example her house that she was evicted from, she still claims it as hers and he claims his power and respect by being called Colonel Berhani as if he’s still back home in his country where he was of a higher class. Berhanis life is very traditional rational and instrumental rational because he still follows certain traditions from his country and from when he was of a higher power in his country. for example he would still dress in suits although his job here in america no longer consisted of dressing so well. another example is how he refuses to make a profit regardless if he is affecting the life of someone else. he did this because he tried every way possible to make his family live the way they used to when they had more money and power in there country. this movie is a good learning experience and helps to understand all of these concepts more clear.

  2. I agree that this movie helped make understanding all of the concepts a lot easier. I was surprised at how entertaining it was as well. Kathy’s character really annoyed me though, partially because her actions were affective social. She probably could have avoided losing her house if she would have opened her mail and dealt with her issues like an adult. She didn’t tell her mom about her husband leaving her, and it just seemed like she was lazy. It bothered me that she had her lawyer write the letter to Mr. Behrani and cause drama with him. He was so hardworking and earned every right to be in the house she carelessly lost.

  3. it was definitely good to see examples of theorists and their concepts applied to realistic scenarios that can happen to anyone. I agree with the above comments that I felt more empathy for the Behrani’s and the strong work ethic Mr. Behrani had over Kathy. She just seemed so out of touch with reality and by removing herself with the rest of society, which illustrated Durkheim’s theory on suicide since she displayed anomie tendencies. Her experience that she went through with her husband was sad, but by shutting down (physically, emotinally and mentally), she was just harming herself and had to deal with the consequences such as losing her home. While watching the scenes in which Mr. Behrani was leading a double life and putting on this front that he was still a wealthy individual (high status)was hard to watch since there are millions of Americans that are still being affected by the economic crisis and are losing their homes everyday.

  4. After watching the movie, House of Sand and Fog I agree with the other comments as well. This movie has many different examples of the terms comparing to sociology. Bureaucracy also a key concept shown. As Kathy house is taken away she receives letters “written records” of the debt she needs to pay, the marshal comes to put house on auction, with the police. every person involved has a separate job to complete a job as a whole. Behrani purchasing the house, to receiving a letter that its not his house. then going to Kathy’s lawyer each follows a different title with different rules. Like in class the paper trail of bureaucracy. Anomie is also described in the movie as Kathys character is depressed hiding from society. “situations that led to her “deviant behavior” . There is a bigger example in the movie through Durkheims concept and anomie. (thats in 2nd half of movie don’t want to ruin it) Egoism Kathy is a great example totally cut herself away from society, but lies to everyone about her husband, who she is staying with, when really living in her car. Although Kathy and Mr. Behrani lead two different lives they are very similar for both lie about the way they really live. Both want the house but the actions taken by one working hard to buy the house, to Kathy not working so hard, literally to lose it. Theres so much more at the end that pieces more together to more theories, Very interesting and disappointing at the same time.

  5. I agree with all the comments above. I feel much of what happened with Kathy could have been prevented had she just faced her reality. She seem so much of a basket case and was just feeling sorry for herself when she could have just woken up and gotten it together been stronger. The one thing that she did that’s was smart was using the officer to her advantage but yet at the same time she used him as leverage. I felt she alienated her self and she just came off as ackward. Mr. Beharani was definitely leading a double life. I felt he had no sense of self. He lived like he was made of money when in reality wasn’t. He bought a house that he couldn’t even enjoy just an investment. Totally defeats the purpose of having a house. But the he was a traditional man and spoke to his son in way to lead by example. Good way to lead a man who takes people’s houses and hits his wife, that’s a good traditional man for you, yea right!!,, completely don’t agree with that. He was a fake. Granted he earned the house but still was living a Lie to his family. That isn’t a family man. This film definitely portrayed around anomie and much social action. However either way he did earn it because she wasn’t paying attention to what her reality was she lost her house like nothing .

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