Symbolic Interactionism And Interracial Marriage

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This paper will review interracial marriage using symbolic interactionism. According to Macionis (2004), symbolic interactionism is a micro-level theory that explores how people behave based on what society has deemed acceptable (p. 20). People are going to associate certain symbols as moral or evil, and those symbols are going to have influence over people’s decisions. Interracial marriage has been very controversial in the past hundred years because it has not always been socially acceptable for a couple of different races to get married. During the time of slavery, white people and slaves were often found to be intimate, and because of this, white lawmakers passed laws to keep people of different races apart (Gullickson, 2006, p. 290). In…show more content…
Over many years, people have evolved and attributed new symbols to things that were once seen as evil in the past. For example, gay marriage was made legal in 2015; but in the 1980s, it would have been considered taboo. The data shows that as time went on, the rate of interracial marriages increased. According to Aaron Gullickson (2006), “the frequency of interracial marriage has been highly responsive to the dynamic nature of broader race relations” (p. 289). This means that because society has been evolving and changing its views on race interactions, the rate of interracial marriages has therefore increased. Another possible explanation for the increase of interracial marriages could be immigration. Immigration rates have increased dramatically over the last decade, and that too would lead to and increase of races mixing in relationship and marriage (Qian, 2011, p. 1065). Immigration means that there is going to be a wider variety of ethnicities throughout the country which could have an impact on the mixed marriage statistics. However, the strongest factor that leads to the increase would have to be society changing its views on who can marry no matter what race or…show more content…
It does not pose any consequences on society as a whole. In fact, it shows how society is evolving to accept different types of marriages. Society should not have an input in people’s marriages, but sometimes it will insert itself. People who do not support nontraditional marriages sometimes use religion to make an argument against it; and in fact, “higher religiosity predicted greater aversion to interracial dating and marriage for whites” (Perry, 2013, p. 427). Some people’s religious beliefs can get in the way of how they view and treat other people. No one should be judged based on who they choose to marry. Society has the responsibility to teach individuals that it is okay to make their own decisions even though some might not agree with them. There needs to be a greater boundary placed on the effects society has on couples. It is not fair that a couple feels they cannot marry because it goes against other peoples’ beliefs or religion. If it is not effecting them, then why should they have a say on someone else’s marriage? People in interracial marriages have slowly been breaking the limits society has placed on them. Symbolic interactionism allows society to change the way it affects people’s lives. It means that what was once considered morally wrong could in fact be a great decision for someone in the future. This sociological theory is a perfect explanation of how interracial marriages have significantly expanded
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