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Functionalism, Interactionism, and Conflict Perspectives
Functionalism, interactionism, and conflict perspectives are fundamental in explaining the social issues in a certain community or social setting. Society is made of different bodies or parties with different functions or roles. As the people interact, they are likely to influence each other in a certain way following the various social powers working around them. The issue of immigration has been a sensitive subject that Americans fear to discuss as they may not like the repercussions. Immigrants are being mistreated and being alienated despite the time they have been part of the country. The sensitivity of the unfair handling of immigrants in the United States would be explained through the functionalism, interactionism, and conflict perspectives.
Functionalism is a social system with interconnected parts that work in harmony to maintain a balance and social equilibrium. For the system to work in harmony, parties must be ready to strike a balance by considering all the involved elements as paramount. All the parties in society are parts that would only be effective if each if given a chance to participate. As such, society can only be complete if certain bodies undertake their functions accordingly. It means that there would be satisfaction in society if parties are willing to be part of the process that would bring the desired value. Functionalism brings people together based on their ability or the potential to society by equipping them with strength in the form of social and cultural bond. The bond mainly works through parties having roles in their cultures that they are expected to fulfill (Kendall, 2012). If society is to be considered complete, there has to be value for all the people and their functions. Mostly, functions are successful when they are done in line with the cultural values or responsibilities. In the US culture, respect for fellow human beings has been upheld, but the cultural foundation seems to dwindle as parties turn violent towards their neighbors because they are not American Natives. It is an illustration of the failing functionalism element.
Equally, American society could be explained through interactionism, which explains that social fulfillment comes from human interaction. As people engage each other in society, they build a platform for excellence through a focus on the most critical elements. People work as a team to advance their bond and realize significant influence or impact. Societal success becomes evident when parties are willing to undertake their roles or responsibilities based on certain cultural values. Unless people share the values, they may not realize the best out of each other and their interaction would be affected. Interactionism presents a situation where people with similar cultural and social values develop a bond that makes them partners on various fronts. Specific values make them unique and help them to build deeper connections (Kendall, 2012). The mishandling of immigrants is an illustration of a failing society concerning social interactionism. Immigrants are a critical part of society as they have been neighbors, colleagues, relatives, and friends to Native Americans. Creating chaos around them would be viewed as a process of nurturing fear and irresponsibility amongst individuals in society. As a critical part of society, touching immigrants would create a rift and the people who were previously friends would begin looking at each other as enemies. The social interaction between the parties breaks as they are unable to contain each other. Immigrants are being treated as outcasts affecting the social bond of the Americans.
Moreover, the conflict perspective dictates that stratification is dysfunctional and harmful in society. Inequality benefits some people at the expense of others, which is the main source of conflict. Conflict is a major source of conflict between individuals or parties in society. In society, unless people are of similar interests which is usually difficult, the conflict would be inevitable. Stratification is a formula for a dysfunctional society where parties pursue certain excellence or level of success at the expense of the majority. Conflict arises when some parties feel that they have not been privileged to attain equal value as other parties in the same environment (Charon, 2012). The issue of immigration has raised massive concern amongst Americans and has resulted in conflict as some parties feel that their positions have been denied and the desired level of excellence has not been attained. Through the immigration issue, the conflict has come up resoundingly indicating that more has to be done if greater success is to be attained. American society is in conflict because people are unaware of what they should do and how they would deal with their neighbors who have been branded negatively for being immigrants. The political elite could be using the immigration issue as a stratification strategy to create a dysfunctional society.
In conclusion, functionalism would be the most suitable perspective to explain the immigration issue in the United States. Creating or attaining a balance between parties would be the most challenging element regarding immigration in the United States. The social roles of the immigrants are compromised when they are treated as aliens and denied an opportunity to exercise the values and behaviors learned as part of American culture. However, the three perspectives are integrated on the ground that they address the social concern of American society following the immigration issue. Societal wellbeing is affected when people are unable to interact accordingly. Also, the conflict would affect the interaction and functioning of American society if the specified issues are not addressed accordingly. As such, each of the sociological perspectives is paramount in defining the sensitivity of the immigration issue.
Charon, J. M. (2012). Ten questions: A sociological perspective. Toronto, Canada: Nelson Education.
Kendall, D. (2012). Sociology in our times. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.