Developmental Psychology Assignment
You will be writing two paragraphs on the film Mean Girls. For each of the two paragraphs, choose one of the following questions to use. When writing, be sure to reference specific examples from the film.
1. Morality: How does Kady's sense of morality develop over the course of the film? What stage would you put her at on Koklberg's stage model? What immoral and moral choices does she make during the film? Provide specific examples from the fillm.
2. Identity: How does Kady's sense of identity change and develop over the course of the film? According to Kohlberg, Do you think she has "found herself" and established her identity? What crisis does she go through to establish her identity? What different identities does she try on?
3. Imaginary Audience: Do the teenagers in Mean Girls feel that they are really interesting and that everyone is paying attention to them? Do they imagine an audience for everything that they do? Provide specific examples.
4. Cliques: How do the cliques work at the school? How does Kady's existence in multiple cliques cause problems for her. What are the hidden social norms for the cliques? Provide specific examples. Also, how do the cliques relate to the social heirarchy of the school?
5. Parenting Style: Discuss what type of parenting style (or combination of styles) is used by Kady's and Regina parents? How effective or ineffective is their style? Teachers also employ a certain "parenting" style. What is Ms. Norbury's style with Kady?
Cady Heron is the 16-year-old daughter of parents. They have returned to the United States after a 12-year research trip in Africa, settling in Illinois. New classmates Janis and Damien warn Cady to avoid the high school's most exclusive clique, the Plastics, the girls led by queen bee Regina George. The Plastics take an interest in Cady, inviting her to sit with them at lunch and shop with them after school. Seeing this, Janis hatches a plan of revenge against Regina, using Cady as infiltrator.
Cady soon learns about Regina's "Burn Book", a notebook filled with rumors, secrets, and gossip about the other girls and teachers. Cady also falls in love with Regina's ex-boyfriend, Aaron Samuels, whom a jealous Regina steals back at a Halloween party. Cady continues with Janis's plan to cut off Regina's "resources," separating her from Aaron, destroying her beauty, and turning Regina's fellow Plastics, insecure rich girl Gretchen Wieners and sweet but ditzy Karen Smith, against her. In the process, Cady remakes herself in Regina's image, becoming spiteful and superficial and abandoning Janis and Damian.
Regina responds by spreading around the contents of her Burn Book, quickly inciting a riot. To avoid suspicion, Regina inserts a fake libel of herself in the book in order to blame Cady, Gretchen, and Karen, the only female students not mentioned in the book. Principal Ron Duvall soon quells the riot, and math teacher Ms. Sharon Norbury, whom the Burn Book slandered as a drug dealer, makes the girls involved in the plot confess and apologize to the other students and teachers. When Janis's turn comes, Regina makes an insulting joke about her sexuality, at which the crowd laughs. Janis retaliates by confessing her plan to destroy Regina with Cady's help, and openly mocks Regina with the support of the entire school. Pursued by an apologetic Cady, Regina storms out and gets hit by a school bus, breaking her spine.
Without friends, shunned by Aaron, and distrusted by everyone, Cady takes full blame for the Burn Book. Her guilt soon dissolves, and she returns to her old personality. As part of her punishment and reformation, she joins the Mathletes in their competition. There, while competing against an unattractive girl, Cady realizes that mocking the girl's appearance would not stop the girl from beating her. At the Spring Fling dance, Cady is elected Queen, but declares that all her classmates are wonderful in their own way, whereupon she breaks her tiara and distributes the pieces. Cady makes amends with Janis and Damian, reconciles with Aaron, and reaches a truce with the Plastics.
By the start of the new school year, the Plastics have disbanded. Regina joins the lacrosse team, Karen becomes the school weather girl, Gretchen joins the "Cool Asians", Aaron graduates from high school and attends Northwestern University, Janis and Kevin begin dating, and Cady declares that she is now "an actual human being". Damien witnesses the new Junior Plastics walking by, but they are immediately hit by a bus. It turns out, however, that this was only a humorous figment of Cady's imagination.