Final Exam: Essay Section (Essay is worth up to 10 points)
Conflict and Functionalist Theories
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After viewingthe provided videos, please analyze with your knowledge of cultural anthropology how racial and ethnic groups can live together. How they relate to one another can be viewed on a continuum ranging from cooperation to hostility.
After viewing all the videos, I have learned different things concerning cultural anthropology. From this view, ethical and racial groups can live together even without problems. From their definition, race is the physical differences that culture and groups consider socially vital. Ethnicity, on the other hand, is the culture that is shared, like practices, language, and beliefs. Through having the two works together it makes it easier for both groups to live together as they depend on each other for survival. This happens as from the videos; both consist of salient aspects of personal and social identity that need the other to feel a sense of belonging within the society. This shows how they relate with each other and the need for them to live together for good cooperation for the community’s success (Hale, 2012). It happens as the occurrence of having more than one mixed-race society indeed calls for the excellent examination of policies that aim to foster ethnic and racial integration at the same time, encouraging them to live together to increase the community’s diversity.
Pluralism is a community consisting of multiple groups sharing political power. An excellent example of this happens when employers and labor unions share a particular meeting to discuss the workers’ demands. Assimilation refers to a culture that almost resembles that of other groups, e.g., the behavior of immigrants in a new country. Legal protection of minorities aims at protecting the minority. An excellent example of this happens when the law protects black Americans against discrimination. Population transfer occurs when a given group moves from one place to another. This may happen due to state policies. An example of this is when there is war. A given tribe may be forced to move more so the minority (Hale, 2012). An example of long-term subjection happens when the American whites take the freedom of the black Americans. Genocide refers to the killing of a particular group like the kidnappers.
Functionalist theory strictly deals with security; while on the other hand, conflict theory mainly emphasizes change. As conflict theory explains, communities happen to stay in conflict due to the scarce recourses. Conflict theory is known for giving sociologists a procedure that explains more about social changes coming up with solutions. The functionalist approach refers to the community as a complex system that works together to promote stability and solidarity among the citizens (Unesco, 2009). From the videos, an example of functionalist theory includes pain caused to the black Americas in the video of Black Lives Matter. On the side of conflict theory, an excellent example from the videos is the mistreatment of the American minority groups, my majority group happening through discrimination. This can be shown in cases of politics.
Today, everyone worldwide can see the relevance of the theories mentioned above in their lives or the world. This happens from the daily scenarios that we keep watching on the Televisions and reading from the newspaper. For example, we have seen a trending story of black lives matter about George Floyd, who belonged to the minority group was killed by policemen from the majority group (Unesco, 2009). This shows us that we are far away from attaining democracy, and functionalist theory within the society will assist in solving such problems. Anyone across the globe sees how differently black Americas are treated by their counterparts, leading to racism across the country (Hale, 2012). It is through this treatment that a movement by the name of Black Lives Matter comes into action. Through such experiences, we should make sure that we do not allow that to happen at all costs.
Additionally, from my understanding, the theory that I ascribe to when it comes to social stratification is the conflict theory. This is because it deals with change; hence it is the one that would make the world a better place for us all. As social stratification is all about resource allocation, status across different groups, and power, having a conflict theory that advocates for change mean making everything equal and treating everyone equally (Unesco, 2009). In doing so, inequality and discrimination, which happens to be the leading issues globally, will cease, and peoples will live happily and healthily without facing any challenges (Hale, 2012). I would make sure that I refer this theory to the rest of my friends as through understanding what it deals with, they will be able to bring changes to society.
Summing up, this final exam about conflict and functionalist theories has addressed several issues. It has given a precise analysis of how the ethnic and racial groups can live together and provide examples from several relational structures worldwide. Also, the paper has explained well and in detail about conflict and functionalist theories giving examples of each. The relevance of the theories also has been highlighted, providing a measure of real-life scenario as seen from current news or individuals experience not forgetting the approach that I ascribe a lot and, in this case, the conflict one as it advocates for change.
Hale, C. R. (2012). Engaging contradictions: Theory, politics, and methods of activist scholarship. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Unesco. (2009). UNESCO world report: Investing in cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue. Paris: Unesco.