She’s the Man

There have been many variations of the age old phrase, “You never really know a person until you walk a mile in their shoes”.    This sort of theory has been used in many teaching aspects, as well as many different fables throughout time.  There is a popular movie that has been produced entitled, “She’s the Man”.  This movie is based off of one of Shakespeare’s plays.  In the movie, the main character, who is a girl, dresses as her brother in order to play soccer.  Now, this may not seem like a profound example of the looking glass self or taking the role of the other, but all of the elements are there.

As stated in the text book, A First Look At Communication Theory, a quote from a famous novel is used.  The quote is from the book To Kill A Mockingbird, and it reads, “you never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them”. This quote has been stated as the perfect encryption of taking the role of the other.  Learning about another person by placing yourself in their position.  This allows the reader to place themselves in the position of the other, not only to gain insight on their life, but also to learn more about themselves in the process.  They also learn how to communicate better with others, just like in the movie “She’s the Man”.

In the movie, the female main character learns about herself and her surroundings.  She is able to base her actions off of the men around her, and is then able to carry these traits back over to when she is dressed as a female.  She takes the role of the other for her own personal gain, but at the end she sees that there is more to a person that what is on the outside.  She is able to gain insight to other people’s lives, and then use this information to improve on herself.  Her experience allows her to learn to better communicate with others.  She learns that the key to communication is honesty.

This movie is a modern day example of taking the role of the other.  Walking in another’s shoes, and seeing the world through their eyes.  The main character gains an understanding of the other people in her life, and is able to change her ways based on how the world may see her.  The ability to see through another’s eyes is not easily done, and it is not always possible.  However, when it can be done, it is a life altering experience.  One is able to gain insight on themselves and others.  This process also allows them to better communicate with the world around them.


Griffin, E., (2008). A First Look at Communication Theory. 7th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.


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2 Responses to She’s the Man

  1. Victoria Spooner says:

    I loved “She’s the Man”, but never related it to “Sinteract” until today. So many aspects of that movie could be related to sign interactions, including the “Looking-Glass Self” and the “Generalized Other”, which would be the people she is trying to imitate in the movie. Throughout your post, you mention looking at someone through their eyes. I think that is an excellent way to communicate, or learn to communicate better, because you see what the other person is actually feeling and processing. Getting to see someone else’s “looking-glass self” is, in fact, very hard, but with practice with ways of participant observation, we are almost able to see the other person as who they really are, and we may find out that we can identify with the other person in the process. This way of looking through the eyes of the other person, may also help so that we can encourage the other by enhancing their “self-fulfilling prophecies”. Great post!

  2. Courtney Lippert says:

    Emma, this post gave a lot of insight between the modern movie “She’s the Man” and it’s connection to taking the role of the other and symbolic interactionism. Typically when people want to broaden their view of the world by taking the role of the other they internally try to step into that persons shoes to understand everything about why they see things the way they do. This movie shows someone that literally and figuratively puts themselves into another persons shoes, although like you said it was for personal gain, and in the end had a better understanding of a guys perspective.
    After I read this post I decided to go look for clips since I hadn’t seen this movie in a few years. In one clip( Viola and Channing Tatum’s character were having a conversation in their bedroom about girls. Channing Tatum’s character was a little more sensitive toward the subject whilst Viola said something that was more feminine, and covered herself up by having a default assumption about all men and said something along the lines of “who would you rather see naked,” assuming that all men are out looking for something sexual from a woman. That statement gave Channing Tatum’s character an opportunity to give Viola a different view on what she expected men to see of women.

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