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Sociology - Essay Example

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Importantly, social stratification refers to a social structure in which certain groups (such as racial, ethnic or religious groups) are organized in a hierarchical nature (Wellman, 1993: 43). As an international student and…
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Sociology
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Sociology

Download file to see previous pages... Looking at the daily newspaper and the stories of violence between white Australians and Lebanese-Australians or violence perpetuated against Indian students in Victoria, one senses that racism is an ever-present aspect of the social condition here in Australia. Seeking to explore social stratification and racism through my personal experiences working in this country, the following will discuss this concept with relation to major sociological theories. Following this I will apply the issue of social stratification to modern Australian society and conclude with an overview of the major issues discussed. What have been my experiences with racism here in Australia? Have there been positive aspects about race here? What emotions and symbols are associated with my racial experiences in this country? How has this impacted your life? What could have happened differently and what would I change about race in this country? These questions and many more will be explored in relation to my analysis of racism and social stratification in Australia. I now turn to an analysis of social stratification through an exploration of the major sociological theories (Shaefer, 1998: 254-266)
Functionalism, one of oldest theoretical perspectives within sociology, focuses on the individual within society and seeks to apply scientific method to the social world. Furthermore, Functionalists argue that society is in fact an organ and espouse what is described as the organic unity of society. Thus, social systems exist for Functionalists because institutions themselves serve a variety of purposes (re: functions). Social systems are homeostatic and work to maintain equilibrium. Equilibrium is achieved, according to this theory, through socialization, where members of society are taught basic values and norms of society. Social control mechanisms – also known as sanctions – help maintain social equilibrium and keep individuals within the social unit in check. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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