Wednesday, 2 November 2011

SOCIAL PROBLEM: RACISM

Racism as a social problem


It is widely believed that racism remains a major international problem at the dawn of the twenty-first century. The term is used in some countries and in some circles to describe hostility and discrimination directed against a group for virtually any reason. Racism survives even in the carefully delineated sense that has governed the study of its history. The Holocaust and decolonization may have permanently discredited what can be called as overtly racist regimes, but this good news should not be inflated into a belief that racism itself is dead or even dying (, 2002). Group inequalities associated with what are taken to be indelible marks of inferior or unworthy ancestry can exist without having the full apparatus of the modern state to sustain them. The legacy of the past racism directed at blacks in the United States is more like a bacillus that people have failed to destroy, a live germ that not only continues to make some people ill but retains the capacity to generate new strains of a disease for which people have no certain cure. If racism is not dead, it is less intense and intellectually respectable than it was a century or even a half-century ago (, 2002).


 


 But human beings continue to mistreat other human beings on the basis of their ethnic identities. Although it takes much more than rational persuasion to overcome racism, the fact that its foundations are subject to empirical falsification does make it more fragile than the incontrovertible and unquestioning faith demanded by sectarian or fundamentalist religion. Along with the dissemination of the truth about human physical differences, the struggle against racism also requires that stigmatized groups have enforceable civil rights, political empowerment in proportion to their numbers, and equal opportunity in education and employment (, 2002). Racism has been the problem for the society since time immemorial. It has created human conflicts and it caused world wars. Measures have been used by society to counter such problems but it continues to exist in society and in every culture in the world. Racism involves not only the outcast of people not having the same color as the general public, it involves setting aside people with a different culture, tradition or birth place. Racism happens in private and public agencies, entertainment institutions and even in the media.


 


Ecological Perspective


Ecological perspective places individuals and their problems in their larger human and social contexts. Individuals are engaged in constant, reciprocal transactions with other human beings and other systems. In contrast to traditional psychological theory that conceptualizes individual problems as originating within the individual psyche, ecological theory looks to the interface of the person with the larger environment for the origin of individual problems and their solutions. Human behavior cannot be understood except in the context of the multiple connections and interactions that individuals have within their own human ecology (, 2004). In an ecological perspective racism starts from the innate characteristic of human beings to be threatened by people not belonging to their same class or race. When someone from another race tries to interfere with their affairs, the natural response of humans is to retaliate by rejecting the other persons desire to interact with them. Humans have a natural instinct of concern that another person not belonging to their race may surpass their achievements and steal their group from them. When they feel that the person is better than them, they set them aside. Humans also have the tendency to outcast any person not having the same race as them because they have fears that the other person may have better look than them.


 


Labeling perspective


In some cases opponents of the labeling perspective have argued that it fails to provide an explanatory framework from which to understand deviance. Despite the fact labeling theory has never intended to explain the causes of deviance, many still call attention to this as a weakness. Others have focused attention on the limitations of the perspective to define exactly what theorists mean by the societal reaction (,  & , 1999). In a labeling perspective racism comes when a group of individuals label a person for what other members of his race have done. A black person may experience racism when other people see him/her as someone who steals like other black people. The color of the person is not used as a source of racism but the label of what the other black people has done.  An Asian person maybe set aside not because of his/her race but because some people label Asians as those people who make counterfeit products.


References



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