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Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin - Article Example

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In the paper “Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin” the author analyzes the article, where a structural-functionalist like Merton would think about the dysfunctions of the institution of slavery in the US, aside from considering its positive consequences or functions for the white Southerners…
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Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin
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Download file to see previous pages However, Robert Merton tried to divert the focus of structural functionalists to social functions rather than on individual motives. He developed the idea of dysfunction or, an adverse effect on the ability of the parts of a social system to function. Unlike structural functionalists who focus on the cohesion caused by shared societal values, “conflict theorists emphasize the role of power in maintaining order in society (Ritzer 87). They see the importance of raw hate, violence, crudity, and inhumanity that the Negroes/black Americans experienced from the whites in establishing order and change in society.
Symbolic interactionists, on the other hand, focus “on interaction (as well as action and people as agents) and the symbols (and their meanings) that are deeply implicated in it” (Ritzer 133). They tend to do social research by going out and studying people and get at their meanings from their point of view. This inclination is exemplified in the real-life account of the experiences of John Howard Griffin, a white American author of “Black Like Me,” who temporarily transformed himself into a Negro from October 28 to December 9, 1959, to personally experience how it was like to be discriminated against and oppressed by the whites.
a) Choose One Structural-Functional idea or argument and start this section with an explanation of the aspect of the theory that is chosen. Include an embedded citation from the Menzies reading (Menzies, Ken S. 1998. "Chapter 20: Sociology Theory." Pp. 486-508 in New Society: Sociology for the 21st Century, Second Edition.) ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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