Theory application is the most important aspect of any theory, because anyone
can theorize, but in order for a theory to be useful, it must be applicable to life.
Sometimes the problem with theory is not theory itself, but in applying theory to
personal life and real world situations. This seems to be where a rather important role
of media comes into focus. Media has the unique opportunity to take the theoretical
and demonstrate using practical examples. This paper would like to focus on one such
story that is able successfully to illustrate communication theory through the lens of a
In 2009, The Blindside, an adaptation of Michael Lewisʼ account of the story of
Michael Oher, was released with great critical acclaim. Through a clash of
socioeconomic and racial differences, this movie portrays the audacity of Leigh Anne
Touhy to ﬁght for the life of Michael Oher. Among the many different themes throughout
this movie, ranging from poverty prevention to Christian duty, there seem to be two
communication themes that stand at the forefront of the picture.
This paper aspires to accomplish two different goals. First, a brief synopsis of
the two theories, Social Penetration Theory and Symbolic Interactionism, will be
presented. Then, the latter half of this paper will discuss how these two theories can be
seen represented in the ﬁlm. The goal will be to offer a clear example of how the
theoretical can be found in day to day life.
COMMUNICATION THEORY APPLICATION IN THE BLINDSIDE 2Brief Synopsis of Social Penetration Theory
Social Penetration is one of the cornerstone theories of communication. This
objective theory, while sometimes viewed as overly simplistic, has birthed a great deal
of continued study into the realm of interpersonal communication and relationship
building. Altman and Taylor proposed the idea that individuals develop “deeper intimacy
with another person through mutual...