Symbolic Interactionism Theory

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Immigration has been a major part of this country since the very beginning. It is what helped this country to become established. The subject of immigration has also created divided opinions about its immediate and long term impact. Even though migration itself is not a problem, who is allowed to migrate and live in a country “legally” is. The three basic sociological theories should bring to light some of the reasons why “illegal immigration” is controversial today and why immigrants are treated poorly. The Symbolic Interactionism Theory focuses on the relationships among individuals within a society as well as the meaning given to objects through day-to-day interactions. Symbols and the terminology given to the current social problem contributes…show more content…
This theory explains that there are two types of outcomes: manifest functions and latent functions. These outcomes are either expected or a result of the interaction between groups. The previous example of immigrants as a driving force in the economy could be applied to latent function. They intend to work and contribute to the economy, but do not expect to become a vital part of the economic system. But in return, they also do not expect to be underprivileged. An example of the manifest function would be the decline of the economic growth in European countries due to the reduced number of new workers added to the workforce compared to the increasing number of retired people. The latent function would be that there are more opportunities for immigrants who, through their labor, can make up for the lack of natural-born citizens entering the workforce. Another example of this theory can be the adoption of customs and traditions from migrating groups into a new country. Larger migration patterns could be manifest in forms and documents printed in other languages to adjust to the increase of immigrants, or the spread of restaurants and markets devoted to provide products that are from the immigrant group. I believe that the Conflict Theory works best for this subject. It shows that the immigrants are willing to do jobs that natural-born citizens are not in order to support themselves, which in turn helps the economy. It also shows that because they are willing to work these jobs they are taken advantage of and are given poor pay with little to no
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