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Sociological Analysis of Zootopia

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Sociological Analysis of Zootopia essay
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“Zootopia” is the endearing story of the first-ever bunny police officer, Judy Hopps, and her journey through solving a missing persons – or, animals – case in the metropolitan city of Zootopia. Along the way, she runs into animals in power with less than pure intentions, a not so sly fox, and even a spiritually enlightened yak by the name of Yax. When the missing persons case turns into something much, much bigger than previously thought, Hopps ends up dismantling deeply rooted prejudices that had been instilled into their society.

The social significance of this film is shown by how racism, deviance, and power can very negatively affect a society that is otherwise viewed as a place of any individual’s dreams. The functionalist theory is heavily relevant in this movie. There is an agreement that predatory animals will act in a civil manner so that prey animals can exist peacefully, and that prey animals will not live in fear so that predatory animals can feel like they belong in a society that is made of mostly prey.

A case that started as a search file was quickly discovered to be darker than that. Seemingly randomly, predatory animals started “going savage” and attacking innocent animals, which caused an enormous uproar from the prey. Judy Hopps implies that these animals were acting that way due to biological traits typical of animals like cheetahs, lions, and panthers. Predators were being perceived as naturally predisposed to act in violence, which caused the majority prey population to want to get rid of the predators. In the end, it is discovered that the assistant mayor of Zootopia, a female sheep named Bellwhether, had been infecting the predators with a plant-derived chemical that caused agitation, outbursts, and uncontrollable violent attacks because she herself had been undermined by the mayor, a predatory lion.

“Zootopia” touches on deviance and discrimination very well. Preys make up a large portion of the population of Zootopia, and they start seeing predators as inherently deviant due to biological factors. This can be applied to the Positivist Perspective. Cesare Lombroso, a well-known positivist, has expressed that “criminals are stuck in earlier stages of human evolution, and are ill-developed humans”, as said by Cheryl Tan. He has speculated that criminals are born criminals. This is a dangerous view to hold because it takes away from the fact that every person has potential to be great, and it fails to consider that deviance can be a product of circumstance.

The lesson of Zootopia, in my opinion, is that you do not have to be a stereotypical deviant to commit deviant acts. Stereotypes can cause the balance of a population of otherwise coexisting people to be drastically thrown off, and you should never judge somebody based on their biological factors.

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Sociological Analysis Of Zootopia. (2019, April 26). GradesFixer. Retrieved January 29, 2022, from
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