Using sociological concepts and terminology explain how Jess and her family's lives from the film Bend It Like Beckham are affected by their cultural identity

Essay by carabobaraHigh School, 12th gradeB-, November 2004

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Jessminder is a teenage girl who has just finished her A levels. She also happens to be part of a traditional Sikh family living in London. Her family is made up of her, her mother and father, and her sister Pinki. She is particularly skilled at football, and has high hopes for a future as a professional footballer, possibly even in America. Her ambitions conflict with her family's expectations of her however, as they want her to get married and raise a traditional family. This is what her mother wants for her particularly.

Her family holds traditions and beliefs quite firmly. They value education, particularly her father, which can be seen towards the end of the film when Jess receives her a level results. In a way her father can be seen as more lenient with his children - as long as they hold the base values and norms close, they can do just about whatever makes them happy, even though his opinions on what career he wants for Jess for example are quite strong.

This is probably because of his experiences, particularly his experiences with joining a cricket club decades ago and being ridiculed for his cultural attire. These experiences also make him guarded though. His conflict of emotions can be seen towards the end of the film where Jessminder's parents are deliberating over her playing football, and joining a club, etc - He doesn't want to see her get hurt, but at the same time he just wants her to be happy.

Her mother seems to be the most traditional of them all. She trained her daughters in cooking and various other cultural norms so that they would make good wives some day. You can also tell this from her witty remark near the end of the film...