Sociology Theorist Essay

Pages: 3 (1072 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: Sociology

Sociology Theorist

From what I have studied in sociology up to this point, it is interesting to note how relevant Karl Marx's writings are when investigating current social scenarios. This marks a change for me, because before I began this class, I would not have anticipated finding Marx's writings to be either persuasive or relevant. However, given the very divisive nature of modern American politics, and the issues that are considered to be of critical importance by people who are in power, I cannot help but feel that conflict theory is relevant in modern society. It does seem as if people are fighting over limited resources like dogs fight over bones, and that there is some idea that improving circumstances for one group leads to negative consequences for another group. Therefore, the idea that society is driven by underlying conflict appears applicable.

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The first reason that I chose Marx was that the apparently increasing amount of tension between different political groups seems excessive given that most people self-identify somewhere in the moderate range. To me, the seeming disconnect between people who actually have power in modern political parties and the people who support those parties has been difficult to explain. After all, the vast majority of Americans are middle-class or lower, but the composition of the government is primarily upper class. This aligns interestingly with what Marx suggested would occur if the workers (proletariats) ever were in a position to threaten the established government; those in power would go to great extremes to be sure this should not happen. "The bourgeoisie would use propaganda, limit access to information (since information can be transformed into power that could be used against them), hire only people who would support what they thought and wanted, and fire those people who dared to challenge them" (Vissing, 2011). Given the pitiful state of education in modern America and the tremendous use of political propaganda by people in both major political parties, these concerns seem valid.

Essay on Sociology Theorist From What I Have Studied Assignment

The second reason that I chose Marx was because of his idea that "institutions and interactions within society foster inequality and competition, and when they are challenged, then beneficial social change can result" (Vissing, 2011). I find this particularly salient when looking at the modern prison system and how modern theorists have expanded upon conflict theory to help describe why law enforcement has an apparent racial bias. Racial minorities, by lacking the same numbers as majority voters, do not have the same amount of input into what social norm violations should constitute criminal actions. Therefore, one should anticipate racially biased laws, even if they are facially neutral. Drug laws that penalized rock cocaine, which was a "ghetto" drug and more likely to be used by minorities, particularly African-Americans, at greater rates than powder cocaine, despite a total lack of scientific evidence that there was any real difference in impact from the drugs, demonstrated this bias. Is there an intentional effort to use prisons and the criminal justice system to keep African-Americans in a subservient position? This assertion would seem ludicrous if one mentioned it without a historical understanding of how both civil and criminal laws have been used to perpetuate racial exploitation in the United States.… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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"Sociology Theorist."  Essaytown.com.  March 2, 2012.  Accessed May 26, 2020.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/sociology-theorist-studied/2207115.