Sociology is a discipline that study human origin, behaviors, culture, development, institution and organization. Sociologists deal with diverse matters such as religion, sexuality, deviance, family, and crime, differences in race and social class and gender issues. These areas are subjects of social and cultural structures . In addition, in this field it analyses and explains crucial matters in human lives, the society and the whole world. It plays an important role in investigating social causes and outcomes of things such as racial discrimination or prejudice. In this regard, sociologist’s performance depends on theories and methods that shape the lives of human beings . Moreover, sociologists are able to acquire powerful insights into social perspectives influencing behaviors of human beings. Consequently, sociologists provide a distinct and illuminating way of viewing and understanding social world where human beings live and influence their destiny. In addition, they look beyond the obvious and assumed perspectives to offer deeper, enlightening and challenging understanding of social environment .
Three paradigms can help to explain the concept of racism regarding lack of power and authority. These are symbolic interactionism, conflict and functionalism theory. Structural functionalism suggests that every societal perspective is interdependent just like an organ in a body. Every member of the society is important because he/she keeps the entire society healthy and stable. From this point of view, racism plays a crucial role in advancing authority and power. For instance, it helps to create solidarity among the Caucasians, hence, they promote their power in the society when whites were vast majority . On the other hand, the people of color were responsible of providing labor and payment of tax in order to create a stable government. According to structural interactionism, racism is viewed as a factor that contributed to social solidarity and stability. Therefore, racism provides an integrated society that offers a relatively smooth functioning. In addition, each race has a specific role to play – working together produced an unconscious fashion that achieves social equilibrium . In this regard, structural interactionists allow for race-related problems such as racial conflict and power inequalities. In addition, it allows for socially developed nature of race. Therefore, this perspective ignores the power and authority inequality that leads to a conflict and tension in different races.
Secondly, conflict theory argues that societal perspectives are products of conflict between different races. Therefore, conflict theorists suggest that racial discrimination is a perspective of that conflict. In this respect, since the whites have won their conflicts against the African Americans, they are justified to gain more power and authority. The racial discrimination is product of that conflict that helps the whites to maintain their power over the people such as Hispanics and African Americans . This theory also suggests that conflict arises due to scarce resources which lead to prejudice against each other when they are competing for survival. Scarcity of resources caused racial discrimination which was then passed to subsequent generations. However, the conflict theory acknowledges that people lives in dynamic, conflicted and negative society. However, the Caucasians dominate power and authority relative to the people of color that guarantees them authority over better standards of living and power.
Symbolic interactionists describe the world in a micro scale. The perspective suggests the way how people view each other. Racial discrimination exists when specific ethnic group view itself as more powerful over the other . The perspective acknowledges that identity formation, cooperation and conflicts rises form interaction in human life. People act through social interactions and their meanings are transformed via interpretive process. Symbolic interactions concentrate on how individual’s values and ideas determine their behaviors. Due to racial stereotype, African Americans are normally associated with rule breaking, hostility, theft and violence. It is through this stigma that they are not trusted the power, and it acts as a barrier to morally acceptable behaviors . Therefore, many Caucasians believe that African Americans need continuous police intervention in order to control their deviance behaviors. The act is known as quiet racism because it is expressed indirectly through feelings. Symbolic interactionists believe that people of color cannot assume power or authority because they have untrustworthy behaviors that create a feeling of feat, uneasiness and discomfort among the Caucasians. It is through this act of fear that the white people stay in power in order to control the blacks from ascending to power . Most of the Caucasians now use quiet racism instead of blatant racism. Racism is a social construction that is tied into social control. It has not yet declined in the society as people continue with different aspects of racism in the society.
Racism and discrimination are dangerous acts that silently close the doors of opportunities to young men and women in various parts of the world. During the times of financial crises such as inflation, unemployment, conservative judicial verdicts and underemployment, majority of members from the racial oppressed society continues to struggle for equitable availability and opportunities . These circumstances lead to racial rivalry that subsequently leads to economic, social and political oppression. Some races such as the Caucasians possess power and authority over other races such as African Americans and Hispanics. For instance, due to lack of power, the majority of people of color in the United States suffer from racial discrimination in field of education, employment, and housing, healthcare, mental health services, social and public welfare .
In the United States, educational systems lack proper mechanism to provide equal access and opportunities to people of color. Indeed, lack of equitable access and opportunities for these people is high to the poor people. The government agencies do not give sufficient attention to the negative effects of societal problems such as racism and segregation on educational accomplishments. In addition, the government pays little attention to the effects of educational systems that segregate against children of color and their families . For instance, there are not curricula that cater for multicultural and multilingual concerns in the educational policies. Furthermore, in higher education people of color rarely get positions in management, faculty, staff or student level. The underlying reason behind is due to the fact that people of color lack adequate financial resources to cater for their needs .
There is a rampant racism in all sectors of employment. Members of oppressed racial society there is significant economic depression. Most notably, racially marginalized are the last to be employed and the first ones to be sacked. Consequently, privatization, downsizing and cuts on budgets are likely to affect unreasonably racially discriminated. Moreover, there is an increasing decline of jobs in manufacturing industry that individuals of color have historically occupied. A new study indicates that unemployment rate for these people is more than 11 percent as compared to less than 3 percent among white Americans.
Besides, the rate of unemployment among the adolescent individuals in the people of color is five times that of white adolescents. Women of color fail to incorporate in managerial positions and decision making process . The government fails to provide affirmative actions and in some instances they are supported. Subsequently, it has led to polarity and conflict among the workers. During Great Depression, people of color experienced challenges because of racial stereotypes . During the period, the rate of unemployment among African Americans was three to four times as compared to the Caucasians. Only few African Americans had enough savings to caution them against harder effects of depression. Besides, they experienced problems when getting a well-paying job and had a higher margin of failure.
People of color experience many troubles in housing sectors. The majority of them have limited choices of where to live. Indeed, most of them pay high rents that do not deserve the kinds of houses they live in. On the other hand, lending and mortgage institutions continue redlining these people . A recent study by the U.S. Department of Housing and Federal Reserve noted that there is high rate of discrimination among the Hispanics and African Americans population by real estate agencies, property owners and financial institutions. These groups conducted illegal discriminatory activities such as discouraging a specific racial group from buying and renting a specific home or neighborhoods. In fact, there are major problems in maintenance of public housing. Since the reduction of housing programs in the U.S in the 1980s, African Americans and other discriminated groups are unreasonably affected by homelessness . Consequently, they have increased inequality in housing among racially oppressed communities.
The majority of people of color do not acquire adequate health care services. The current health care system in the United States allows for fees-for-services, which limits most of these communities. In addition, the cost of health care services continues to increase, but its quality and accessibility continues to decrease . Moreover, most of the health care facilities are located in places where the low-income earners cannot access them. Most of people of color live in rural districts and urban neighborhoods where few health care facilities are. Furthermore, many of these communities cannot pay for their private health care since they have no financial resources or lack accessible medical insurance coverage . Studies indicate that the number of free public hospitals is declining. Therefore, since high proportion of people of color utilize low-cost health and mental health care, they are likely to go without care. In low-income area, public health services are likely to be neglected, hence, establishing extra health hazards. Poor nutrition and insufficient housing among these people contribute to high cases of chronic illness and early death . For instance, reports have documented that people of color in the United States have lower life expectances as compared to the Caucasians. People of color also receive low wage in work places. Besides, most of professionals in the racially marginalized communities worked at unskilled jobs. Consequently, their standards of living are usually low and have higher levels of illiteracy and poverty.
In order to control racism in our society, individuals must change the mindset that allows all members of the society. Racism seem to continue in quiet manner which difficult to control. People of color and Caucasians must know how to solve conflicts amicably to facilitate harmonious life. Discriminatory rules should be abolished.
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