Examples Of Social Roles In The Gangs Of New York Movie

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In the movie Gangs of New York, many different gangs, the most important being the Natives and the Dead Rabbits, vie for power over the region called the Five Points during the Civil War time period. Within the movie there were many different examples containing social class privilege, status, and power. The examples were shown by both the gangs and the individuals that the gangs were compromised of. The purpose of this paper is to analyze these examples of social class and privilege, status, parties, and power that were in the movie Gangs of New York.
In “Class, Status, Party,” by Max Weber, Weber defines a class as any group of people that happen to be facing the same class situations, or problems (Weber). Both of the two main
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To Weber, status groups are normally communities that are tied together by the social estimation of honor (Weber). Honor can be gained and lost depending on wealth, income, family, occupational postion, race, sex, and many other factors (Rothman). IT can be debated that the ‘Gangs of New York’ are fighting for power in the form of status, or more specifically honor. Honor palyed a very important role in the Gangs of New York movie. The different gangs would fight in phalanx formation, fighting each other in the front to show that they were not cowards who would strike from behind, and to display respect by facing each others as equals. The gangs would even congregate together to discuss battle ethics and rules, as shown by the ‘war meetin’ scene for the final confrontation, that took place near the end of the movie. If the Dead Rabbits, and other ethnic minorities, defeat the Natives, their social standing, position, and honor can increase. Amsterdam, along with his revenge motive, believed that by killing the Butcher he would curry a lot of honor and favor, so he did anything to achieve those goals. Amsterdam hid his identity form nearly everyone except Johnny Sirocco, a fellow Irish Immigrant that he knew in his childhood, and Jimmy Spoils, an African-American citizen. Amsterdam essientlially became one of the Butcher’s most trusted gang members, hoping for an opportunity to kill him, until his identity was compromised. Everyone finding out about Amsterdam’s identity resulted in the crumbling of his honor, because he acted like a “sneak-theif” instead of facing the Butcher head on, which was then seen as honorable. The Butcher eliminated Amsterdam’s social status and honor, which was very high under the Butcher, with a single scar that was etched into his face. The effects that Amsterdam’s scar had, courtesy of the

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