1. Why is Horton labeled “deviant” in the story?
2. Use the three elements of constructionism to discuss Horton’s “deviance.”
Relativism – Discuss context as it relates to Horton’s “deviance.”
Subjectivism – How does Horton experience being labeled “deviant?”
Voluntarism – How does Horton express his free will in making the choice to save Whoville?
3. Use the symbolic interactionist perspective to explain the different responses to the dust speck in the story (what does the dust speck mean to the different characters). Note the consequences for the characters based on their interpretation of this symbol.
4. Consider labeling theory…
Which characters are the labelers? How are they depicted? How do they ensure that Horton is labeled “deviant (hint: a form of informal social control)?”
5. Chambliss’ legal reality theory suggests that those who enforce the law (police, prosecutors, judges) are essentially working to protect the interests…political, economic, moral…interests of those belonging to the dominant power structure. What we see here is that the powerless are not treated equally under the law (law in action/law on the books).
Who are the enforcers in the story? Why do you think it’s so easy for them to condemn Horton to being “roped & caged?” Can you think of a current social issue where a powerless group has been demonized by the powerful & mainstream thinkers who don’t question the those in power? How likely is it that Jane Kangaroo would have been treated the same as Horton? Explain your answer.
6. Ultimately, the Whos save themselves by rising up & being heard. Do you believe that speaking out, ie. protesting for stricter gun control, professional football players taking a knee during the National Anthem, Black Lives Matter… can make a difference the U.S. today? Please note that these groups are often viewed as social “deviants.”
link: https://www.aristoiclassical.org/apps/video/watch.jsp?v=66737 (Links to an external site.)