Privileged and Challenged Ideologies

The main ideologies depicted in Schindler’s List:

Ethnocentrism– is the emotional attitude that one’s own race, nation, or culture is superior to all others.”

Ethnocentrism is a challenged ideology in Schindler’s List. Throughout the film, atrocities that are committed because of ethnocentrism are demonstrated. The Germans believe that their race is better and superior to all other races, and because of that belief millions of people were killed. Spielberg portrays the Nazi Germans and their ethnocentrism ideals in a negative fashion, challenging and questioning the concept all together.

“Capitalism- the economic system in which all or most of the means of production and distribution, as land, factories, railroads, etc., are privately owned and operated for profit, originally under fully competitive conditions: it has been generally characterized by a tendency toward concentration of wealth.”

Capitalism is a privileged ideology that is abundantly demonstrated through Schindler. He began as someone that didn’t even have enough money to buy a factory because he had gone bankrupt, however, through the private ownership of the factory he bought, Schindler was able to make millions that was later used to protect Jews from slaughter. This not only makes Schindler the hero, but also frames capitalism as heroical, since without it, all of those Jews would have gone to Auschwitz extermination camp.

“Patriarchy- “[A]ny kind of group organization in which males hold dominant power and determine what part females shall and shall not play, and in which capabilities assigned to women are relegated” to domestic realms and excluded from political realms (Dow, 1996).”

Patriarchy is a privileged ideology because of what is not portrayed in the movie. There are many brave, heroic things that Emelie, Schindler’s wife, did at the time, that were omitted from the Schindler’s List. The only roles that women play throughout the film are domestic-esque. There was a scene when an educated female Jew questioned the stability  of a building, claiming they needed to completely rebuild the foundation. She was then shot by order of Amon Goeth because she voiced the problem to the Nazis. This re-enforces the idea that women should not have those types of roles in life.


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