town in turmoil a town in conflict essay

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Structural Functionalism

Symbolic Interactionism, Symbolic Interactionist Perspective, Issue Theory, Sociological Perspective

Excerpt from Article:

City in Hardship

A Community in Conflict

Every story could be told many different ways. Each individual in a given narrative understands what continued from a certain perspective. At times, if that individual is especially perspicacious and especially interested, then the person can see a certain event from your perspective or one or two others. But the person’s perspective is always limited, and this is a good thing. If we cannot see the globe from our personal point-of-view after that we have no hope of understanding our very own virtues and vices, our sense of cause and effect.

Nonetheless it is also true that there is a significant place in the world for understanding an event via a larger point of view. This is the role (or, by least, one of the roles) that scholarship takes on in our lives. Scholarship provides that much larger lens, that broader concentrate on the world in order to us to put our own perspective into the whole perspective of an historical second. However , simply to keep points complicated, you will find different academic views as well as different individual ones. The paper examines a series of events that took place in the area of Jena, Louisiana, a team of events that highlighted the barely fundamental racial stress in the area, tensions that color Southern life in general and, without a doubt, American existence in general.

The first academic perspective which i will connect with this event to realise a greater depth of understanding is the cultural conflict theory. It has it is origins in Marxist social theory and is based in the idea that different categories of society will vary amounts of electric power. It is hard to imagine that any person would deny that this is true. Indeed, the whole Occupy Wall Street movement came about out of your general acceptance that there is significant inequality in American world. But the cultural conflict unit is based on more than the idea that you will discover different certifications and access to wealth in our society.

Another part of this kind of theory is key for the process of understanding this event: Not only do different individuals and groups have differential usage of power, but those who have more power use this power to oppress as well as sometimes to torment those without similar power (Macionis, 201, pp. 88-9). This kind of seems to be a proper lens with which to view so what happened in Jena because the light students, combined with white electrical power structure in the city, such as criminal justice system that is under the power over whites, used their capacity to do significant harm to the “Jena 6. “

The black students involved a new clear feeling of the thing that was happening with regards to the use of differential box power:

Many years of covered up racial hatred spilled out at the appearance of those unsteadiness nooses. Phrase spread quickly that working day; before long, quite a few black college students congregated within the tree. “As black college students, we failed to call it a protest, inch says Robert Bailey Junior., one of the Jena Six. “We just called it standing for ourselves. ” (A town in turmoil, 1997)

Bailey realizes that the light students would understand the activities of the dark-colored students being a protest since they would see the new hang-out place pertaining to blacks as being a clear problem to the power that white occupants of the metropolis hold, power that seemed correct and all-natural to them. The dark-colored students, however understood perfectly that their particular actions had been a challenge with regards to how the white colored students noticed their universe. But the black students also recognized that the whites’ version of Jena has not been natural in any way but mirrored a certain interpersonal order that might be changed.

Viewed out from the outdoors, it is very difficult to see what happened in Jena as not an mistreatment of power by the whites in the city against the blacks. Except for the truth that it is less likely that this is definitely the way in which the white citizens of Jena who were mixed up in process may possibly not see the situation in the same manner. They would almost certainly have seen what happened as what should have happened. They would (at least some of them) could in all likelihood have described the situation as this is the natural purchase.

The father of 1 of the black students defined the situation inside the following method: “It seemed they were stating, “We can easily do whatever we want to prospects n-s’, inches says Marcus Jones, Bell’s father” (A town in turmoil, 2007). This is the various other side of how white citizens felt: They were doing indeed probably feel that they could do whatever they will wanted to blacks because this is what they found as the correct order of things.

This kind of interpretation – that items work out the way that they will need to – reflects some of the standard tenets of structural-functionalism, which usually posits that society consists of a number of different parts that all operate smoothly with each other, like the organs in a healthy and balanced human body. Nearly the different parts of society operate smoothly with each other in this version, but this kind of smooth operating creates solidarity amongst all the different factions, a solidarity that all teams accept to be good and right and natural and that perpetuates stableness from one technology to the next (Holmwood, 2005, l. 96).

It should not be surprising at all that functionalism was the dominating scholarly paradigm used to describe society through the 1950s, an era in American history in which suburban steadiness was promoted in many sectors as the perfect form of world. Nor should it be surprising the social turmoil model described above came to exist during the scholar protests in the 1960s and 1970s as the college-age (and draft-age) generation started to fight the image of a smoothly functioning culture that numerous of their father and mother and instructors had grown up with and continued to promote.

The final key sociological perspective through which the actions of the doj in Jena should be considered is that of symbolic interactionism. The basic concepts of this assumptive model is the fact people appreciate their community because that they create their particular sense of meaning for folks and events. People – each one of us – produces meaning through the ways in which all of us interact with one another both singularly and as someone meeting society as a whole.

Other ways of looking at this is that as people we connect to the world and everything and everybody in this and as the effect of thousands of small , and even tiny, actions and interactions each day we come to findings about the place in the job and what life means to us. This kind of perspective also provides us a significant way to comprehend the world as it appeared to the residents of Jena. Each of the groups mixed up in racial conflagration that burst open forth in the school grew to understand their world in terms of small communications. Indeed, a significant part of the problem in the town is that the groupings talked only to their own members so that the meanings that each group developed about the world grew farther and farther separate.

The users of each group were properly preaching for the choir, although the two choirs were vocal very different music in different important factors.

Soon after [junior Kenneth] Purvis and several dark friends ventured over to the tree to hang out with a few white classmates. According to the school’s unspoken ethnic codes, nevertheless , that area was available to white kids; Purvis is definitely black. A lot of white learners didn’t look kindly on the encroachment: the very next day, three nooses hung through the oak’s divisions. (A city in hardship, 2007)

The full arc from the racial physical violence and hatred that arose in Jena can be the result of

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