Research Paper: Education and Race Sociological Perspective

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[. . .] Theory

Three theories can be used to take a more in depth look at these concepts and how they relate in the sociological realm. Symbolic interactionism is how a person "acts toward things on the basis of the meanings that the things have for them" (Storrs & Clott). The second theoretical stance is social conflict which looks at structural factors within a society and how they can affect the society (Lo). The final theory used to examine the topic is structural functionalism which sees "role of culture as an organizing regulatory system" (Pichette, et al.).

Looking at race and education through the prism of symbolic interactionism, one can see that the role of the culture is to help the individual place value on different elements in his or her world. If education is valued by the culture, then it will be valued by the individual. It also seems that many Blacks fought for affirmative action because, due to the deprivations that their American culture had faced for centuries, they believe that they deserved the small reparations that it has supplied. Thus, when White students called reverse racism, it was difficult to see the truth in that and allow White students, even those with at the same socioeconomic level, to realize the advantages of these types of programs.

Social conflict theory shows how people can believe that they need to have the advantages of affirmative action and other programs because of the societal structure they live in. It is also possible to agree with that assessment when viewing it through this theory. The Blacks and other minorities that have been on unequal footing when it came to higher education have seen the poor structure of their lives exacerbated because of this and other such facts. People who have higher levels of education make more money and are able to get better jobs, live better lives and do more for their communities. Because people of color have been denied this advantage for so long, the structure of their society has remained the same. This demonstrates the need for aid in this area to disadvantaged and underserved groups.

The final theory can be seen as examining the question from the culture-as-a-whole standpoint of just that of minorities. The culture at large is a regulatory system that has not allowed minorities to reap the benefits of education, and has not placed the needed importance on education for people of color. Many believe that education is not the way to make a better life because they see the money made through nefarious means or from excelling at sports. It is a more difficult and longer road to prosperity through education, so it is not as valued by the culture. However, if this perspective is changed in the culture, it will change at the individual level also.

Conclusion

Education and race have not been partners in ridding minorities of the second class status that many fill. It is necessary to show people that there are possibilities for people of color and other minorities before they can truly break the inequities that exist. Education is a tried method of elevating people from where they have been to where they can be. Through affirmative action programs, and ones that have been tried in other places like the France example, some of the inequities have been erased, but there is a lot more work to be done.

Works Cited

Lark, Taj'Ullah Sky. "The Desegregation of Higher Education, Race conscious Admissions Policies and the Federal Constitution: Before Brown vs. Board and Beyond." The Journal of Pan African Studies (Online) 5.5 (2012). Web.

Ledford, Danielle. "Is Race Neutrality a Fallacy? A Comparison of the U.S. And French Models of Affirmative Action in Higher Education." Texas International Law Journal 46.2 (2011): 355-388.

Lo, Celia C. "An Application of Social Conflict Theory to Arrestees' Use of Cocaine and Opiates." Journal of Drug Issues 33.1 (2003): 237-250. Print.

Pichette, Eugene F., Michael T. Garrett, John F. Kosciulek, and David A. Rosenthal. "Cultural Identification of American Indians and Its Impact on Rehabilitation Services." The Journal of Rehabilitation 65.3 (1999): 3-21. Print.

Storrs, Debbie, and Lynsie Clott. "A Qualitative Study of Honor Students'… [END OF PREVIEW]

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"Education and Race Sociological Perspective."  Essaytown.com.  December 10, 2012.  Accessed July 18, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/education-race-sociological-perspective/1418561.