Functionalist Perspective Analysis

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1.) The Functionalist Perspective attracts my attention due to its values that can be seen throughout history. This theory emphasizes the total social order over aspects of conflict, and values stability and harmony in a society (Fitzgerald 100). This means that, according to this theory, every part of society has a function in a certain social order, and change only exists to restore a functional society. In the realm of sociological understandings of prejudice, the Functionalist Perspective believes conflict and inequality between groups must be resolved in order to restore the society’s stability. In order to dismiss tension resulting from change, assimilation is needed to return to an orderly system, which emphasizes ethnic minorities surrendering…show more content…
Racial profiling has been a widely discussed issue recently and affects many people in society. When judgment arises about someone’s performance, ability, or personality based on race, one’s prejudice can turn into acts of discrimination, like racial profiling. For example, Waters emphasizes how black students experience racism for the first time upon entering college, which can include students yelling slurs at them drunkenly, or being followed while shopping at a campus store. (Waters 3). In the cases of students of color being shadowed by store owners or being asked for identification from police officers while walking around, prejudice against minority groups is being shown very obviously. Linking this case of prejudice to the Functionalist Perspective can be done by focusing on emphasizing placing those with different cultures who do not succeed in fully assimilating and becoming a member of society into a racial order. Categorizing these individuals and creating generalizations lead to upholding inequalities between races and maintaining the dominance of white culture in society, which keeps stability that is necessary in this theoretical…show more content…
Stereotypes about minorities can spark from their presence’s perceived invasiveness to the stability that society values in this theory, and lead to racial profiling. Omi and Winant believe a system of racial meanings and stereotypes is prominent in the culture of the United States, and these racial meanings are formed from ideologies that establish and maintain a color line (Omi and Winant 5). This color line is a key concept the dominant white culture values that systemizes inequality and encourages stability in the Functionalist Perspective. Therefore, when the social order of society is challenged by new cultures and assimilation is unsuccessful, prejudice is formed. A large contributor to this prejudice is the media, which has been infamous in spreading images of racial minorities which establish their general appearances and behaviors (Omi and Winant 5). These publications spark generalizations about whole groups and acceptable treatment of them by the dominant culture, which can be seen in racial profiling. By discriminating against groups based on dominant generalizations, the color line is strengthened, and thus racial and ethnic groups are treated inferiorly to whites. It is also crucial to view the theory from a minority’s standpoint and their role to fit into the

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