Symbolic Boundaries Of The Ku Klux Klan

Decent Essays

Dana Yizhaky Essay One: Symbolic Boundaries The Ku Klux Klan, or KKK, is an extreme example of symbolic boundaries in which members of this organization felt themselves to be superior, motivated by ideas of white supremacy. Extreme organizations such as this used symbolic boundaries to distinguish themselves from all “others”, who they believed as inferior because of their race, ethnicity and religious beliefs. In order to implement their ideals, the KKK used fear tactics to uphold the boundaries between themselves and “others” while also limiting the capabilities of the “others”. Class, ethnicity, age, and gender along with other social determinants, alone or together, help society to categorize people and thus, generate expectations for …show more content…

Accepting symbolic boundaries fosters what become social boundaries. Social boundaries are objective, socially constructed limitations or guidelines that direct people’s thoughts, actions and functions in society by telling people what is socially acceptable and what is not. In accordance with determining what is socially acceptable, symbolic boundaries reinforce social inequalities by determining what people do and do not have access to in terms of resources. Lamont and Molnar explain this transition from symbolic boundaries to social boundaries and vice-versa through the construction and deconstruction of the Berlin Wall. Germany symbolically split into two groups, treating each other as opposing, as “the disappearance of the territorial boundary left almost intact the deep divide between former East and Western Germans as differences continue to be reproduced through a myriad of symbolic boundaries” (2002:184). Here, symbolic boundaries are the classification of differences between East and West Germans through verbal treatment of one another, social expectations and classifications. Widely accepting the symbolic boundary created inequality by regulating what is socially acceptable and unacceptable for Eastern or Western Germans and determining the available resources for them. Symbolic

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