Analysis Of Culture And Deviance In Entertainment Media 

My analysis will focus on the cultural background and deviant tendencies that Dwight Schrute, a fictional character from ‘The Office’, reveals. Dwight Schrute from ‘The Office’ is an uptight character. His childhood experiences have shaped his character. This has made him sterner, more hard-working, less docile, and more condescending. The Office’ series is directed at younger generations (born 1990 to 2000) and those who are slightly older but hold office positions so they can relate to what happens.

Dwight’s character is strengthened through the addition of information about his life and past. Dwight was born in Northeastern Pennsylvania to a conservative German family. Dwight, as a result of being raised in a conservative, German family in Northeastern PA, is able to describe his role clearly. Dwight is often seen as immature, even though he knows he can’t be trusted. Dwight is known for his strict rule-abiding nature and his hard work ethic in the office. Dwight grew up on a farm doing the laborious tasks required by a farm. Dwight has always been very proud of his farm work ethic and holds himself to high standards. Dwight has said, “How would my description of myself describe me? Utterance of three words. Hard-working, Alpha male. Jackhammer. Merciless. Insatiable” (“The Return” 2007). Throughout the series, Dwight’s inner beliefs are revealed. Dwight is known for having a misogyny due to his conservative upbringing. Dwight’s response to this is “Aw, man!” Do I look like a woman? Aww! “Boo!” to a question concerning a stereotype that was not related to women (“DiversityDay” 2005). Dwight is also known for believing in science fiction and fantasy products, including androids, vampires, etc. Dwight’s childhood experiences, which included being taught to follow rules, to work hard, and to be a good citizen, are likely what led to his isolation from other children. Dwight found refuge in stories, movies, and videogames, which enabled him to escape the difficulties he was facing. This proves that Dwight was influenced by his upbringing to immerse himself in stories and films that would take him away from the hardships he faced.

Dwight’s situation can be seen from a sociological viewpoint. Travis Hirschi proposes the Control Theory. Dwight’s life is governed by the Control Theory at two levels. His childhood and adulthood. His family was a different society than the rest. Dwight grew up in a conservative German family, which included farmers. What was normal for Dwight, was different for others. Dwight learned early that he must adhere to rules. The American family is more strict than the American one. Children are expected to be good students and keep out of trouble. However, children don’t usually work on farms and are not subject to harsh punishments. Dwight was unable to relate to other people because of the differences in social control between his family and the rest of society. We see Dwight’s adulthood as a result of the isolation he felt in his childhood. Dwight used science fiction and fantasy media to escape the harsh realities of his daily life and his isolation. Dwight has a low level of social skills due to his inability to connect with people who enjoy the same things. Dwight makes frequent references to these films, games, and shows to his fellow workers. They never get it. This leads to an awkward moment between Dwight and Dwight. Dwight believes medias are great. But only he likes them. Because he feels alone in these two ages, Control Theory clearly impacts his life. In the series, we see him use a diary to keep track of personal information and avoid interacting with others. These actions seem normal to him as they are consistent with his childhood, where he didn’t use technology and was always aware of safety procedures. He may think his actions are sound but others might find them strange or even crazy.

Dwight’s deviant and cultural tendencies as well as his social background are the issues that I found. While it is possible to have a child raised with different social norms than normal, there are many other instances. This can cause isolation and social problems. I believe it should be the parental responsibility to acknowledge and use the social control that is in place to raise their child.

Let’s say I take into consideration a couple that was born in 1930. It was not uncommon for Americans to use racial terms when referring to another ethnicity during that period. The 1970’s were a time when using racial terms was more common and more frowned upon. Parents are responsible for socializing their child so they don’t use racial words at home. It is likely that the child would feel rejected and isolated if they were to have used racial slurs as a child, even though this was a clearly deviant act. As time changes, parents must ensure their child’s education is in line with the new norms.



Jacob Cunningham is a 26-year-old education blogger and teacher who resides in the Pacific Northwest. Jacob's teaching and writing focus on the use of technology in the classroom, and he is a frequent presenter at education conferences around the country. Jacob's work has been featured on sites such as The Huffington Post, Edutopia, and TechCrunch.