Free «Bend it Like Beckham» Essay Sample

Bend it Like Beckham is a British comedy that was released in 2002. The movie stars individuals such as Keira Knightley, Parminder Nagra, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Anupam Kher, Archie Panjabi, and Shaznay Lewis.  Dhami (2011) asserts that the film was first released in the United Kingdom and Gurinder Chadha directed it. The comedy is about individuals bending rules in order to get their way to success. In the movie, Jess, an 18-year old daughter of Punjabi Sikhs is infatuated with football but her culture does not allow this because she is female. She pursues her ambition using the poster of her favorite footballer, David Beckham. Her friend Jules who appreciates her talent invites her to a local team. Finally, they succeed in their desire to play professional football when they get a football scholarship to Santa Clara in California. This essay explicates the different perspectives of different family members according to the movie Bend it Like Beckham. More so, this essay would discuss the natural systems theory, cybernetics theory, communication theory, and the language systems theory in relation to the different aspects of the movie. Lastly, the essay gives an illustration of the observations made in each family.

Systemic Theory Application: Bend it Like Beckham

In case I were interviewing the family, I would connect with Jess easily compared to other individuals. This is because of her belief that individuals can still achieve their objectives in any given environment. She pursues her dream to play football like David Beckham without putting into consideration the fact that girls are not allowed to play football in their family. She is optimistic that she can still make it even if the environment in which she lives is restrictive. I could connect with her easily because of her belief that motivation and persistence are key factors in the achievement of the set targets.  Mr. and Mrs. Bhamra are strict people on matters of tradition and need to be convinced closely before accepting to bend any of their rules. Mr. Bhamra takes time before he convinces his wife to allow their daughter pursue her dream of become an accomplished player at the academy.  She is skeptical about bending the already existing rules.

Family Members Perspectives

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It is vital to note that every individual within the family will tend to hold different perspectives about life happenings. More so, individuals within the family will always have different opinions about life and how to adapt to the changes taking place in life. This part explicates the perspectives of each of the individuals in the Indian family.

Mr. Bhamra is the father and the head of the Indian family. One of his perspectives is that racism can play an instrumental role in denying one the opportunity to achieve. He confirms this with the assertion that he was thrown out of the cricket team because of his racial background. He is also of the perspective that traditions could be bent in order to allow an individual pursue desired goals. This is confirmed when he allows the daughter to pursue her scholarship.

Mrs. Bhamra is of the perspective that tradition is vital and needs to be upheld. She insists on her daughter upholding tradition by not playing football. After being convinced by her husband, she is also of the perspective that change should be accommodates as it emerges.

Jess is of the perspective that she can become as successful as excellent players like David Beckham.  According to Dhami (2011), she rejects the fact that tradition can stop her from achieving her targets in her football career. She is also of the perspective that one can achieve her goals in any cultural and traditional setting. Therefore, her key perspective is that patience, persistence, and resilience pays.  

Systemic Theory Application

Natural Systems Theory

The natural systems theory entails the interdisciplinary general study of systems in the environment of operation. This theory is considered a generalization of systems science and a systems approach to different issues. The concept of triangles asserts that whenever two people in a family have problems with each other one of them or both of them would try to seek help from a third party.  Bernet, Boch-Galhau, Baker, & Morrison (2010) reiterate that the third party is perceived a negotiator who would play an instrumental role in solving the problems existing between the two individuals in a family. The concept also asserts that the two individuals in a conflict are inside the triangle and the third party that is brought in as a mediator is outside the triangle. Additionally, the concept of triangles indicates that there are two individuals to a conflict while the other entity not involved in the conflict is brought in to solve the issue. In cases where the tension among such individuals is not high, the relationship between conflicting individuals is desirable. In the movie, Jules looks forward to settling her issues with the involvement of Jesse. Her relationship with Joe had been strained when she interrupted him when he was about to kiss Jesse. Jesse looks forward to bringing back a superb relationship between Jule and Joe. Another key incident that is related to the concept of the triangle is where the Santa Clara University football scholarship is given to Jess. It comes in to sought ought the conflict existing between Jess and her parents about the need to maintain tradition.

Cybernetics Theory

The sequence of events from a first order cybernetic perspective is as follows. Jess, an 18-year old daughter of Punjabi Sikhs and is infatuated with football.  Dhami (2011) asserts that despite of her love for football, her parents do not allow her to play because she is a girl. She spends some time in the park playing with a group of boys and her good friend Tony. Jules discovers her talent and introduces her to her local team Harriers. Joe is impressed to see her play and chooses her in the first team.

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The sequence of events from the second order cybernetic perspective is as follows. Jess does not allow cultural beliefs to block her dream of becoming an accomplished player like David Beckham. She works extremely hard and her friend Jules is also impressed with her performance. She plays in the local team and is finally given the first team opportunity by Joe due to her superb display of football.

Have you ever been involved in any form of accident?  According to Collins, Jordan, & Coleman (2012), I would ask this question to an individual who comes with multiple injuries some of which appear to have been there for long. My curiosity to understand the nature of the injuries better necessitated this question.

When did the child learn how to crawl and walk? I would ask this question to a mother who has child experiencing developmental problems. The curiosity to understand the child from the earlier stages of development facilitated the asking of this question.

What kind of delivery did the mother undergo? I would ask this question to a mother experiencing problems after delivery. I ask this because of the curiosity to understand the root of the problem.

Was there any exposure of the fetus to drugs before birth? This question would be directed to a mother whose child is not growing normally like other children. The intent of the question is to understand what could have led to the problem.

Communication Theory

Demuth & Brown (2004) affirm that the communication theory entails the study of the flow of information from one individual to another. It is recognized as an effective field of study linking human beings around the globe. The key example for a complimentary relationship in the movie is when Mrs. Paxton thinks that Jess and Jules are lesbians. The more they try to express their affection towards each other, the more she makes the assumption that the two ladies may be lesbians. The rationale for this answer is that the relationship between Jules and Jess is founded on a different perspective from what Mrs. Paxton thinks. The two young ladies are closely related because of their numerous similarities and not lesbianism. The example of a symmetrical relationship is Jess’s love of football. The more she loves football, the more she excels in her field. She amazes many individuals by bending the rules in order to ensure that her team wins the game. She bends the ball across a group of player in order to ensure that her team clinches the victory. The rationale of this answer is that the more Jess loves football, the more the talent responds and grows inside her. This is justified when she finally land a scholarship to enhance her football career. Parallel relations can be viewed from Jess and Jules. The rationale is that their relationship is extremely strong from the start and has no tendency of being interfered with.

One of the key instances of command can be witnessed from Jules' local team. Jules has to introduce Jess into the team through Joe who was the coach of the team. This implies that Joe was the key figure in the team and all details about the team had to be expressed through him. For instance,” although initially skeptical, Joe is convinced by seeing Jess play, she includes her in the first team.” This implies that a sequence has to be followed effectively before any key decisions is made in the team. Another key instance of command exists in Jess’s family. She has to communicate effectively to her parents before many any independent decisions. For instance, “Jess has not told her parents about the scholarship.” She had to follow a chain of command before her wishes were accepted.

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Based on the actions of Joe, the command was that Jess was an effective player who needed to be included in the first team automatically. Her talent spoke of itself and proved this through proper display of the game during her debut at the local team. On the other hand, based on the actions of Mr. Bhamra, the command was that his family had to bend some of the traditions in order to allow her daughter pursue her dream of becoming a prolific football player.

Language Systems Theory

The key theme existing in the Indian culture is the theme of tradition. Every individual within the Indian culture is required to preserve cultural values with a high level of strictness without bending any of the rules.  Duvall (2012) observes that the Indian tradition must be as binding as possible in order to ensure that the family stays together appropriately. The lack of a common tradition among Indians is likely to cause conflicts hence straining the relationship among individuals. For instance, in order to be a good father, one has to ensure that he strictly follows the Indian tradition and ensures that the entire family follows the Indian tradition. The failure to guide the family in embracing the Indian tradition could be perceived a fail on the side of the father. In order to be a good mother, one has to be submissive to the husband and ensure that her children are respectful individuals. Glick, Berman, & Clarkin (2000) affirm that in order to be a good daughter, one has to adhere to the teachings of her parents about tradition and promote it effectively. The key theme in the British culture is the theme of dynamism. This theme asserts that tradition is subject to change at any instance. Individuals must be ready to accept the continuous cultural changes as this would ensure that they effectively succeed. In order for one to be a good father, he must embrace change and promote it in the entire family. In order to be a good mother, one has to teach her children proper values. In order to be a good daughter, one has to respect her parents fully and embrace change appropriately as it occurs in society.

Observation Segment without Sound

When watching the movie without sound when the Jess’s family is together, I notice respectful interactions within the family members. Her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Bhamra are excessively respect each other and have to adequately consult before making any decision about their daughter Jess. I also notice that the family is united in its approach to events. This is witnessed at the time of making preparations for the wedding of their eldest daughter, Pinky. The family sits together and makes appropriate plans that would help make the day a success and appropriately joyful in the life of each of the individuals. Respect and unity hold this family together even as it bends some of the traditions to allow Jess follow her dream of playing football like David Beckham. The daughters are also patient and respect what their parents decide. This promotes rationality within the family. My personal response as I watch without sound is that the family relationships in the movie are easier to tell just from observation. One does not require sound to understand how a family is supposed to operate according to the movie.


In the application of the systemic approach to the study of families, I learnt several things. Firstly, I learnt that a family is a core unit within the community. Families are significant in the making of vital decisions within society.  Nichols (2009) asserts that I learnt that a family has the ability of either promoting or shattering the dreams of an individual. It is a core unit within society because it is capable of making decisions that are likely to affect the life of an individual permanently. For instance, Jess’s family makes rational decisions, which plays an instrumental role in determining her future. The family accepts to bend some of the Indian traditions in order to allow her achieve her dream of playing football at advanced levels. More so, I learnt that effective communication within the family can assist in the making of vital decisions. Jess was wise and decided to introduce her parents to the issue of winning a scholarship. It was through effective and respective communication and the follow of command that enabled her to be successful.  Nichols & Schwartz (2012) confirm that I learn that a family is independent and dynamic. Jules’ family is dynamic and allows her to follow her career immediately without bringing in cultural values and other traditions. The family allows her to go ahead immediately and be successful in her career. Additionally, I learnt that conflicts could be effectively resolved in a family through the involvement of a third party. The best way to solve conflicts in the family is to involve a third party from within the family. The solution of the conflict would be successful because the relationships between individuals are known and are close.

This project impacted on me both personally and professionally. On the personal level, it has helped me understand the manner in which individuals can be successful in society without putting into consideration some of the beliefs. For instance, Jess had to pursue her career in football without caring that the Indian culture forbids that. On the professional level, this project has enhanced my research skills within the family. I have understood more concepts relating to families and the manner in which they are supposed to operate effectively.

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