Essay on Sociology: Black Like Me

1713 WordsJul 1, 20107 Pages
Part A - [Structural Functionalism] One argument made by Structural Functionalists is that society should be a meritocracy. People should be rewarded based on their abilities. (Class notes, SOCI 201, Winter 2010) An example to illustrate this argument from Black Like Me is found on page 39. The elderly owner of the Y café complained to Griffin about how unfair the economic system was to black people. Many brilliant black students graduated with great marks, but still ended up doing the most menial work or very few selected jobs. Many black people, therefore, chose not to educate themselves. As a result, the whites said they were not worthy of first-class citizenship and everything continued in a vicious circle. (Griffin, 1996: 40) This…show more content…
Something as little as looking at a picture with a white girl in it could get him into trouble. Trouble for a black man in this part of the country could very likely lead to a sever beating or death by the hands of an unruly mob. He needed to be “educated” to know his roles in various situations, so he could behave “decently” in order to stay away from such troubles. The discriminating social stratification in 1950’s developed a set of servile behavior on the blacks. They were thought to be inferior to whites, and were treated accordingly. Moreover, different parts of the country had various ranges of sensitivities while dealing with the blacks. For example, in Mississippi things were particularly tense after the Parker lynch case. No black man would dare look into any white man’s eyes in fear of the repercussions. On the bus, a man warned Griffin to watch himself closely until he caught onto Mississippi’s ways. In an extreme case like this, it was vital to learn about their roles and behave accordingly. Part B - [My Sociological Insight] One thing that I found sociologically interesting about Black Like Me was how dominant ideology affected people’s behavior and how people took it for granted. Any racial prejudice or discrimination nowadays is considered extremely offensive. However, the whites, by common consent,
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