The question of racism has been opened in the United States of American during a long period of time. Despite numerous attempts that are taken to provide African-Americans with the same rights and possibilities as the Whites have, the problem cannot be solved because some new aspects and concerns take place. Nowadays, it is very important to develop a critical understanding of the current society and its needs in order to realize if people are able to confront racism and become color-blind one day. The perspective of sociology is one of the possible opportunities to enhance the required portion of understanding and consider the idea of racism at the interactional and institutional levels.
Race is an important concept in the field of sociology because it determines the quality of relations that may be developed between people and the outcomes that may be expected from properly or poorly developed relations. In this paper, racism as a significant aspect of social life will be analyzed at the macro- and micro-levels that help to realize how the structure of society may influence the development of the racial issues, and how the interpersonal relations may promote or solve the problems of racism. The sociological perspective is a good chance to see what other people may think about racial diversities and the challenges that may take place.
There are two types of racism that may be identified from a sociological point of view: institutional and interactional (or individual). On the one hand, there are the members of special groups that try to impose their rights and ideas and diminish the roles and possibilities of other people. As a result, people are divided into minorities and majorities with a list of rights available. On the other hand, there are separate people, who are eager to demonstrate their personal attitudes to the concept of racial diversity and explain their understanding of the relations that can be developed. At the institutional level, there are many sources of racism that can be discovered.
For example, there is structural conduciveness that is based on diversity and appropriate categorization of people according to which people of different race have to inhabit certain regions and consider the stereotypes developed. The idea of structural strain is also widely spread in the USA in terms of which one group of people may have more benefits in comparison to the abilities of another group of people. Gutting discusses the connection between gun laws and racism and concludes that “permissive gun laws are a manifestation of racism, an evil that, in other contexts, most gun-control advocates see as a fundamental threat to American society” (par. 5).
His investigation is one of the attempts to comprehend how racism and different political, social, and legal decisions can be made. Another investigation was offered by Hahn, who admitted that there was a significant suppression of the votes of racial minorities on the basis of frauds and corruption that could take place during the elections in the USA. All these misunderstandings and concerns may be explained with the help of one of three sociological perspectives. There is the functionalist theory that underlines the necessity of racial minorities to assimilate into the society they want to live in. Such assimilation touches upon social, economic, and cultural aspects.
Symbolic interaction theories argue that people are responsible for the development of their relations regarding their race. Still, society is not only a group of people. Society is a group of people, whose relations and activities have to be controlled by the law and other instances that take responsibility for the order. Finally, there is a conflict theory with its main argument of the presence of conflicts in any society. In spite of the possibilities to reduce the number of conflicts and improve the living conditions of people regardless their racial or other inequalities, there will always be the idea of class inequality that can hardly be solved one day.
Racial inequalities should not be considered as social problems only. It is necessary to remember that the relations between people turn out to be the main source of problems. It is important to clarify how people may interact with one another and solve the issues of racism using their personal knowledge, experience, and attitudes. The example of Dustin Hoffman, who demonstrates his attitude to the questions of racism by means of his attitude to Oscar Ceremony, proves that even people, who have nothing with politics, economic, and social affairs are able to understand that “it’s always been racism. It’s kind of a reflection of what the country is.” (Associated Press par.9).
Society may introduce a number of rules and laws within the frames of which people have to deal with racism and avoid the situations when racial minorities have to suffer. Still, there is a powerful personal factor that may help to overcome all social norms and standards and create a group where people can respect and support the idea of racial inequality or, vice versa, neglect the possible inequalities at all. In the USA, there are many academic and public institutions where racial prejudice plays an important role. They predetermine social contexts within the frames of which people have to interact with each other.
Racism is considered to be the reason for why so many Black people try to demonstrate their contempt for all White people and their preferences. Such requirement is developed not because Black people want to be rude and violent. Such attitude is necessary as a kind of protection against the possible misunderstandings and dilemmas. At the same time, people have to remember that all of them are born to be free. There are certain obligations that have to be followed in society. Still, these obligations and requirements should not be connected with racism. Human interactions should be considered as a chance to demonstrate a unique attitude to people of different races and offer the solutions that have not been offered before. There are so many global and natural disasters and concerns people cannot predict or deal with that it seems to be unreasonable to spend so much time and efforts to understand racism.
In general, the evaluation of the questions of racism shows that people want to try to change something and make the racial issue not as evident and disturbing as it is now. Unfortunately, the historical examples and current observations prove that despite the attempts of society to eliminate racial prejudice, there will always be a group of people, who may want to oppose the suggestion. Besides, if society does not want to accept racial minorities as a meaningful part of society that has to be respected and treated properly, there will always be a group of people, who may want to support racial minorities. It is human nature to strive for something that can change an ordinary flow of the current events.
Associated Press. “Dustin Hoffman on Oscars: It’s Always Been Racism.” The New York Times 2016. Web.
Gutting, Gary. “Guns and Racism.” The New York Times 2015. Web.
Hahn, Steven. “Political Racism in the Age of Obama.” The New York Times 2012. Web.