As we have discussed, there are four sociological explanations of racial-ethnic inequality (page 192 – table 10.3). They are: Functionalist, Conflict, Feminist and Symbolic Interactionist. Which theory do you find the most persuasive? Why?
I consider that the most persuasive theory is Functionalist theory. It can help to better understand and explain racial-ethnic inequalities that exist in our society. In accordance with Functionalist theory, every component of our society, such as the country’s economy, the school and the university, the family and the US government and other institutions and social groups, should perform its function for the benefits of our society as a whole. For example, the family produces and raises children, the school and university teaches children, the country’s economy controls employment, providing jobs, etc. In addition, it is very important that all parts of our society are closely connected with each other and depend on each other in order to create a stable social order. For example, the school depends on the family and the family depends on the school. This fact means that society should work harmoniously. Those people who come from other countries should respect the traditions and customs, values and language of the dominant group. Due to assimilation, it is possible to avoid racial and ethnic inequalities. Â Only group solidarity can help to avoid racial conflicts. In other words, Functionalist theory helps to reduce racial inequality through assimilation and amalgamation processes and cultural pluralism practices. I think that assimilation, amalgamation and cultural pluralism practices can help to solve racial and ethnic problems in any society. Minorities should respect the culture and traditions, values and beliefs of the dominant group. In addition, racial and ethnic inequalities are created by “the tendency of people to judge others based on the individual’s cultural norms and standards”ť (Shepard 249). If people learn to respect each other’s culture and traditions, there will be no racial and ethnic inequalities in our society.