FUNCTIONALISM AND CONFLICT ANALYSIS ON RACIAL DISCRIMINATION


Racial Discrimination
Functionalism and conflict theories differ in several ways. They focus on different values and assume different things about society. For the purpose of the paper, I will be focusing on functionalism and conflict theories on racial discrimination.
Functionalism Theory
“Functionalism is the theory that various social institutions and processes in society exist to serve some important function to keep society running (book). In this sociological perspective, racial discrimination must serve an important function to society to exist. Some, functionalists believe that racial discrimination strengthens bonds between people. A community might increase solidarity by refusing to allow outsiders into their community. When outside groups enter into a new society, their existence is distributive to the social balance. It might also strengthen bonds because people feel at ease when they’re with people of the same color. Also, it strengthens bonds between people because individuals trust people of the same group. Lastly, it strengthens bonds because individuals of a group support and communicate together. Other functionalists believe in the master-slave dialectic, where two people benefit in the situation. The slave benefits from the master because he is fed and sheltered. The master benefits from the slave because the slave does labor work, buys food and dresses him. An example today, would be a minority working as a janitor at a company. The company benefits because the facility is clean and the minority benefits because he is getting paid. Also, some functionalists believe it unifies the role of culture, especially American values. A lot of Americans are proud of this country and will disregard individuals who don’t meet the criteria.

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