Labelling Approach- This theory is based on how people from one culture who do the same things as another culture but only one of the groups may be considered deviant. (Schaefer, Richard, T. 2012, p. 18). I see this actually see this often through courts and trials and media. I can most closely associate it with “Blacks” and “Whites”. We have seen crimes committed by Black people and they are considered thugs, one parent home problems and other negative connotations.
However, when the same crime or even more heinous crime has been committed by its counterpart, we hear terms like troubled, mentally disturbed, etc. How can these crimes be viewed differently when often times they are the same crimes? American or at least the media is quick to try and defend the actions of “White America” yet, to preserve their idea of a group of people that they do not consider human. They have to somehow reinforce that idea and make the same crime by two different groups of people different.
In order to keep that theory going we must be seen in a different light made to be animals. If you look at the sentencing and the punishment of the same crime by these two groups, you will see this theory played out. Functionalist Perspective- This approach deals with the idea that if someone is not contributing to society’s stability or survival it will not be passed on to the next generation (Schaefer, Richard, T. 2012, p. 16). I see this behavior playing out by the dominant group in the presidential election.
There was somehow a need to make the now President, Barack Obama seem to not be a part of the true fabric of the United State. However, everything in his life contradicted that. I believe that the underlining factor by most that perpetuated this idea, was done by the fact that the dominant group could not submit or phanthom the idea that an African American would somehow have total rule over the dominant group. This idea was so disturbing to those, that they needed a way to make it seem as if he was un American.
The only thing that was truly behind this theory was the fear that the dominant group felt as they never wanted to appear inferior to this race of people, that only a few decades back was not even considered a whole person. In their minds if this happened that natural order of things would be disturbed. The dominant groups ability to have total control over the conversations and reasons why the subordinate groups suffer the things that they do would be jeopardized.
The person that controls the conversation is often the conversation is believed to be the truth. If an another perspective could be heard or theorized it would jeopardize them being the only voice as to why these things happen (Schaefer, Robert, T. 2012, p. 16). Thus, the truth could actually be shed on why subordinate groups suffer as they do. Conflict Perspective- This I believe goes on in the minds of those that I see in government. “assumes that the social structure is best understood in terms of conflict between the competing groups”.
You can see this theory at work today in regards to the idea that all Muslims are killers thus, we must annex them from “our country”. This argument allows others to view the reason for certain subordinate groups problems and it seeks to blame the individuals for their own status. Even though there are factors such as laws outside of the individuals control that most often times places them in these situation. The outcome of all of these theories is to keep the dominant group dominant, I do not understand the fear that they have in living in a world where all is equal.
The idea of White Privilege” has assisted us to getting to this point. Is it driven by the fear that they make receive the treatment that they have been a part? I believe it is a self-fulfilling prophecy that they fear. When others are made to feel inferior it allows then to keep a certain amount of control. With the things that are happening today, people demanding equality these theories are coming more and more into play however, it does not seem like the people on the other end of this theory will allow it any longer.
The only way that institutional discrimination can be eliminated would be that all structures and things that are in place be removed and a new structure built. I believe that “institutionalized discrimination” has been in existence since the time that we formed nation. The layers and layers of issues and policies as well as laws that have helped prop up and support institutionalized discrimination as well as people’s mindsets would have to be destroyed. I do not see a way to fight this or change it. If this changes I would love to be around to see this change take place.
Nothing can stand if this is to change none of the current systems, polices or people in authority. I believe that the only thing that can change this would be if all men’s hearts were broken and brought before the Lord in true repentance, other than the obvious that I will speak on later. This is one of those things that is so imbedded in the fabric of our society, our rule of law and all of our corporations. We really do not have a clue how deep and imbedded this is. I would also believe that not many really want to know.
The dominant group could not allow such a change because their fear of not being in control as well as being paranoid that others may be just like them, or would treat them how they have treated others, that is a place that is unimaginable for them to be in. I believe that their fears are all wrong. However, when you have lived such a life and done to others in ways that you know are wrong, you could never place yourself in a situation with the chance that the same thing may come upon you. Lately I have seen through the things that are going on today that fear will drive a person to do and say things that a normal person would not.
When I saw the fear of a terrorist attack change the hearts and minds of people that I know to be “Christians”, I was struck, the agreement that they now have in believing that the banishment of an entire group of people or even the extinction of that people is better than their perceived alternative. Funny, what fear does to a person. If change were to come It would only come through a revolutionary war. Not that I would be opposed to change coming in that way, I just do not know if I would be ready to deal with the consequences that happen while the fight for change was perused.
With that said I do not thing that institutionalized decimation will ever end without great loss. I wanted to say that integration would be the way to resolve the issue of discrimination however, we have tried that and until the minds of people are changed a full acceptance of others that are not like you is achieved, we will keep the status quo. We have used this method to gain equality and it has not worked. All three could work hand in hand however, the question is which one do I think would actually go further in getting to the end result that most desire. Pluralist Perspective” would be the best way going forward.
I believe that many would not feel threatened if they knew and learned and respected others differences. When people are around groups that they are not familiar with, they often come in with a set of preconceived ideas about those individuals. Once people are exposed to others and see that they are not what they have read or been told, in turn they begin to understand and respect others and realize that different does not mean wrong or un American. At that point walls begin to be broken down.
In the end we are more alike than we are different, we all want the same thing comfort, prosperity and to be respected. If we begin to understand that different does not mean wrong, I believe that we are able to embrace others and allow the full expression of each individual and culture to be expressed. In the end if you are looking through the eyes of Christ you would understand that all of the differences are beauty and not something to be feared. It is easy to say something is not right when we do not take the time to understand the thing.
After taking a walk through Racial and Ethnic Relations, I would have to say that whatever is done to tear this down would only make America stronger. Whatever the pain of change, I believe that it is more than worth not changing the status quo. I believe that there are generations of people willing to lose all to see that this change happens, I may not see it, however I believe that the world will be better off when his happens. My grandchildren will be the beneficiaries of the change that will surely take place.