Sociological Perspectives In Sociology

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Three major sociological approaches in the field of sociology are known as functionalist, conflict, and symbolic interactionist perspectives. The three sociological approaches are utilized to explain and enhance why racism is prominent in the United States. These viewpoints each discussed racism, but by using different terminology and specific focuses, each perspective is able to illustrate very unique and diverse concepts. As stated by Kendall (2015), “Racism is a set of attitudes, beliefs, and practices that is used to justify the superior treatment of one racial or ethnic group and the inferior treatment of another racial or ethnic group” (p. 284). As Kendall (2015) defined, “dominant groups are racial or ethnic groups that have the greatest power and resources in a society. Subordinate groups are ones whose members, because of physical or cultural characteristics, are disadvantaged and subjected to unequal treatment and discrimination by the dominant group.” (p. 283). In the society found in the United States, dominant groups incorporated white Americans while subordinate groups incorporated individuals such as immigrants, African Americans, and Asian Americans. The difference between all three perspectives begins with the context of how dominant and subordinate groups are used in the explanation of racism. Functionalist perspectives analyzed racism on a macro-level in which the dynamics of the subordinate and dominate groups in the entirety of society is critiqued
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