In the film “The Hunger Games”, society is depicted under a much harsher context than what we experience in our reality. However, under a sociological lens, it might not be all that different. The film illustrates the life within the nation of Panem where 13 districts separate the lifestyle of its citizens from living with wealth to living in poverty in another. These citizens of Panem are kept in these districts that they are situated in because of the yearly Hunger Games they must participate in. Two tributes are picked per district (one male and one female) to compete to the death where the winners are celebrated for winning with a lifetime of fame and fortune. This paper will take a look through the sociological lens of symbolic interactionism at the segregated districts and the social mobility between them and the socialization of power and what it constructs in the reality of the people of Panem. Additionally, I will then be critically reflective of how symbolic interactionism has helped me construct a deeper understanding of the movie under larger social context.
Symbolic Interactionism (S.I) can best be described as the study of meanings we associate with our social world and the way we interact with one another (Clancy, In-Class Lecture, September 11th 2013). Panem is divided into thirteen different districts where the closer to district one you are, the better off you are; and the further away you are, such as district twelve in which Katniss is in, people are living in a povertized state. This type of division between people and wealth is a sense of social stratification.
The districts are created so that each section provides a certain necessity for the capitol in which reaps in the rewards for having the most power and fortune. The capitol then uses this power and fortune to condemn these districts into participating in the Hunger Games ergo denying any possible social movement unless you are a participant and win; consequently, creating a caste system within Panem. The winner then gets praised by the citizens of Panem and this allows them to not have to live in their bad conditions again. The capitol is allowed to sign these districts up for the game because of the subjectivity of the history behind it.