Lesson 15 Activity: Stress in the Movies
Stressful events and their impact are the subject of many films and television shows today. The following activity involves reviewing some of these in order to recognize themes consistent with the material covered in the lesson.
Choose a film in which some workplace is featured prominently. Some examples are provided for you. These films should be readily available at local movie rental facilities or your local public library. After watching the film, answer the questions below. Make sure to provide enough detail in describing the scenes in the movie so that someone who has not seen it can clearly understand how you came to the conclusions that you did.
Take care to read any warning labels on the film before viewing regarding graphic content or language if that is something that you might find offensive. There are enough films listed below to allow you a range of types of movies or provide you with an alternative should your first choice be difficult to obtain. Some names of main actors were provided to help you identify and locate the movies. These are not there to indicate this is the actor or actress you should focus upon.
Example films that feature workplace issues:
Office Space (with Jennifer Anniston)
Joe Versus the Volcano (with Tom Hanks)
The Firm (with Tom Cruise)
Erin Brokovich (with Julia Roberts)
You’ve Got Mail (with Tom Hanks)
Devil Wears Prada (with Meryl Streep)
Glengarry Glen Ross (with Alec Baldwin) Up in the Air (with George Clooney)
Wall Street (with Michael Douglas)
9 to 5 (with Dolly Parton)
The Informant (with Matt Damon)
The Hudsucker Proxy (with Tim Robins)
Working Girl (with Melanie Griffith)
Norma Rae (with Sally Field)
In 2 to 3 sentences, describe the main plot of the movie, the main characters, and the setting.
Here’s an example (note the length and detail), “In the movie You’ve Got Mail, New Yorker Kathryn Kelly loses her little children’s bookstore to competition from a large chain store owned by Joe Fox. While these two are business enemies, they are also simultaneously beginning an anonymous romance via e-mail. Sparks fly as the two slowly combine their lives on- and off-line.”
Applying information from your lesson or text, describe examples of stressors in the film. How were these similar to or different from some of the antecedents to strain or stressors mentioned in the lesson?
What types of strain did this lead to (job-related, emotional, physiological)? Describe the specific examples that came up in the movie.
How did the characters in the film deal with their stressors? Did they use effective coping strategies?
Given what we learned in the lesson, what would you recommend to these characters to either reduce or better cope with the stressors in their lives? Be sure to explicitly refer to something discussed in the lesson or text in your answer.
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