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Your ability to apply your sociological knowledge to an analysis of issues emerging from race/ethnicity, racism, and lived experience. Analyse your own life narrative. You may focus on any particular aspect of your identity/lived experience (e.g. race/ethnicity, class, gender, religion, sexuality, place of birth, language, dis/ability) and explore it/them in light of various sociological perspectives that have been discussed in the course.

Understanding Race and Racism through Sociology

Sociology is a subject by the study of which one can understand the reasoning behind human behavior (Lohumi, 2015). People can be different from each other based on gender, sex, literacy level, race, religion, sexuality and on many other factors. The globalization and immigration of people among countries give birth to the issue of race (People-press.org, 2018). Race can be referred to as a grouping of humans based on the physical qualities or the same can be understood as a physical difference between and among groups, that society considers significant. Sociology criticizes the concept of ethnicity and race by connecting the same with social inequality (Asanet.org, 2018). In Canada, the issue is being serious day by day as many of the people from southern, northern, western, and eastern European countries are shifting to Canada (Boyd, 2015). In Canada, there are many people who are Indians, Irish, frence and Scottish and they create a different ethnic group (Worldatlas.com, 2018). People in this country are facing many issues related to race such as discrimination. Stereotypes prejudice and the same are collectively known as a team “Racism”. Racism is a situation where there is discrimination between white and black-brown people based on the color of their skin (Humanrights.gov.au, 2018). Now the question is that who make such discrimination? In order to answer the query, this is to be stated that it is the society who do so. I have also faced this issue many of the times.

In the subject of sociology, many of the theories are there which are closely related to race. Similarly, different perspectives are there which develop the understandings of one of the selected issue i.e. race. In this assignment, the focus will be made on various theories, approaches, and perspectives of race and ethnicity. Further, I will share my personal life experience where I have faced the issue of Racism and will try to connect them with the studied sociological theories and perspective.

A social perspective can be understood as a way to look at the world or as an approach to understand the behavior of a human by placing the same within it is a broader social context. Sociology has some major perspectives that I will explain in the context of the issue of race. Functionalist is the lead sociological perspective. The same believes that every aspect of a society is independent in itself and make a contribution to the overall functioning of society (thehistoricalnerds.com, 2018). For instance, the state provides education to children and later on, these children after being eligible for their ways to serve to society in their adulthood (Courses.lumenlearning.com, 2018). If to connect these perspectives to racism, the same believes this issue also contributes to society and that too in a positive mode. This is somewhere hard to understand. Like how Racism can affect the function of society in a positive mode. If to talk about my personal experience, I also find this perspective true. I have faced the issue of discrimination while taking part in a football match of my local community. The selectors have only selected the girls with fair skin color. I have prepared a lot for the trial and also played well but had to face the issue of Racism. I was not the only person who felt the same, but in addition to me, one of my friends also faced a similar issue. However, the incident brought some positive results to me later on and the bond of me and my friend who faced the issue became even stronger than the earlier. Therefore, to say that this perspective is for real and in my case it worked so well.

Personal Reflection on Racism and Lived Experience

Another sociological perspective is Conflict perspective. The perspective leads out the negative views of the society. As the name implies, the perspective believes that there is always a conflict between two or more groups of society based on many factors such as race, religion, sex, religion and so on (Crossman, 2018). To discuss this perspective from the point of view of race, this is to be stated that this creates a huge conflict between the two groups of society such as white people and ethnic minorities. Here this is to inform that not only race but also sex, genders, and religion creates the conflict. In order to share my personal experience, I would like to state that this issue of race discrimination made two groups in my colony. There are many English people, many of them are from India, who have dark complexion in comparison to English one, and there is always a conflict in these two groups.

The third and the most significant sociological perspective is the Symbolic Interaction Perspective, also known as symbolic Interaction theory (Chegg.com, 2018). This perspective let a person know that how people interact with each other in their daily lives and by which symbols they recognize to each other. According to this perspective, people develop meanings to various symbols and use the interpretation of these symbols while interacting with each other (Cliffsnotes.com, 2018). While discussing this perspective in relation to race, this is to mention that a person gets to know about the race of a person determining the color of his/her skin. Further, after making the interactions, some more symbols get developed and in such a manner a conversation goes on between the two people (Serpe & Stryker, 2011). It means a person reacts towards another person or a thing based on the symbols that such person gets Fromm another person and thing. My personal experience again can be used as an example here to provide more clarification on this perspective. One day when I was sitting in the library, a senior came to me and stated that your color is not as whiter as an English person is so. Where are you from? When I have mentioned my country, he said oh ok. The conversation was not normal at all. At that time, I felt quite awkward because it was the first incident when a person has asked such kind of question to that and me too in such a wired manner. However when I have studied this perspective in the class later on, now I can relate that incident here. Because of my physical appearance, the color of skin and hair, he received some symbols about my nationality and made interpretation accordingly. The interpretation made by my senior was a product of social interaction. After the study of this perspective, I am now aware that how social interaction gets developed based on many interpretations.

Sociological Perspectives on Race and Racism

When it comes to the race relation, the Psychological Perspective is necessary to discuss (Taylor, 2018). This perspective states that when a person feels a negative stereotype, then there are possibilities of stereotype threat. This perspective is also significant for the reason as the same helps to understand the  Psychology of people who have faced the issue of race discrimination in their lives (Psychology.org.au, 2018). The stereotype Threat shows reflect an experience of the anxiety of a person who hind himself/herself in a situation that can confirm a negative stereotype regarding, his/her social group (Edglossary.org, 2018). I have faced the discrimination issue many times in my life. One of the incidents I have shared about my selection in football team can be counted as one of the negative experience of my life, I was not the only person who faced racial discrimination that time, and we were many in number s including my friend that I have mentioned earlier. I felt concern about my whole social group. The incident leads to a very huge impact on my personality. I would like to share my post experience in this context. I still remember how nervous I was and ha ow badly my confident diminished after the incident. The issue of ethnicity affected me a lot that have influenced my study at a time. The lead reason behind all this was that I was qualified, yet they have chosen other girls over me because all they were English. I felt demotivated and less talented in comparison to other girls and it took me 3-4 months for coming back to my early mental state.

All the above mentioned were some of the sociological perspective and theories that I can relate to my personal experience. If to make an analysis of these approaches, I have to say that although all the perspective made my understating clear about the behavioral and other aspects of the race. However if to make a comparison or to choose one over above, I would select the symbolic interaction theory and Functionalist perspective ahead to rest of the others. I have a proper reasoning for the same. When I got rejected in the selection of a football match, I came more close to my friend and I have shared my life experiences with her. She also did the same. It was amazing that how a negative issue such as racism could bring positive results to my life. I have tried many times to find the answer but did not get the same. I was curious about the same until I have studied these perspectives in class. After the study of the Functionalist perspective, it made clear to me that every aspect of society bring some results to social functioning and this is the reason that racism enlightens positive results in the society. Another useful theory is symbolic interaction, which again made my concept clear about the incident that I have experienced in the library. Without interacting with each other and without saying a word, how people get to know about each other. What are the symbols, which becomes the base of interaction, all I have to know after the study of this theory? This is to be stated that there is a difference between an ethnic group and racial group. An ethnic group is a group of people that are set apart in a society because of their language, nationality, and culture (Definitions.net, 2018). Whereas on the other side, the racial group is a group of people, that is characterized as different from others cause of their genetic and physical traits (Thefreedictionary.com, 2018). This is to mention that as I do belong from an ethnic group as I was not born in Canada, further I do belong to the racial group because of the skin color. I belong to a racial group; this can be proven by having a look at the mentioned incidents and experiences of my life. If to talk about other social issues such as class and gender, I do not think that I have been a victim of the same at any point in time in my life. However, these issues also are very negative itself. Many peoples are there who are facing discrimination on these bases regularly. This is also to say that yes ethnicity and racialization has explained the experiences of life in a well-detailed manner as these experiences were closely connected to the issues of ethnicity and racialization.

Functionalism

Moving the focus of the essay towards understanding and learning, this is an important part to write. With my personal experience, I am saying that while studying in the case and while writing this essay, I have learned a lot about sociological perspectives related to racism and about the other issues. I have learned that based on merely a race, people are divided into many of the groups. They are treated unequally in comparison to others. Here the role of critical race theory comes into light. The theory can be understood as a legal theory. The theory believes that society creates the issue of racism and discrimination. At my personal level, I learned that one should not support the issue of racism. The natural color of the skin of someone is not an issue and these are the people who initiate such issues in society. After the study of Psychological Perspective, it is far clear to me that I am not the only one who has faced the negative experiences but there are many. The theorist of critical race Theory has investigated that cause of the studied issue, many of the students have committed suicide in the past and continue doing so. I understand the consequences of discrimination in society and is not in favor of such practices. Further, my understanding also gets enhance that people do react based on symbols, but that should not be there. There must be no support of the issue in any manner.

In order to wrap up the discussion, here to say that many of the social issues are there in the society but to find the racism as the most significant one. This is not for the reason that I have personally experienced the incidents related to this issue, but there are many who are suffering from the same for the same or for no reason. Sociological theories and perspectives are there out of which some are related to the issues of race. I have mentioned as many theories as they were relevant and also connect the same to my life experiences. I have also mentioned those theories, which I found most relevant, but it does not mean that others are not useful. I belong to a racial group and do not support the same, as I understand that how dangerous the impacts can be. By the application of these theories to my life experiences, I have come to know about the forces behind this approaches and learned the consequences. I can guide the others who are facing similar issues around me and in such a manner, I found myself a little bit eligible to improve the society. The study of these perspectives proven very useful for me in order to understand the experiences of my life. All the incidents that have mentioned reflect one or more sociological theories and now I have a better and clear understanding of this subject.

References

Asanet.org. (2018). Race And Ethnicity. Retrieved From:  https://www.asanet.org/topics/race-and-ethnicity

Boyd, M. (2015). Ethnicity and race in Canada: past and present. In The International Handbook of the Demography of Race and Ethnicity (pp. 23-45). Springer, Dordrecht.

Chegg.com, (2018). Symbolic Interactionism. Retrieved From: https://www.chegg.com/homework-help/definitions/symbolic-interactionism-49

Cliffsnotes.com. (2018). Three Major Perspectives in Sociology. Retrieved From: https://www.cliffsnotes.com/study-guides/sociology/the-sociological-perspective/three-major-perspectives-in-sociology

Courses.lumenlearning.com. (2018). Theories of Race and Ethnicity. Retrieved From: https://courses.lumenlearning.com/sociology/chapter/theories-of-race-and-ethnicity

Crossman, A., (2018). Understanding Conflict Theory. Retrieved From: https://www.thoughtco.com/conflict-theory-3026622

Definitions.net, (2018). Definitions for ethnic group. Retrieved From: https://www.definitions.net/definition/ethnic+group

Edglossary.org. (2018). Stereotype Threat. Retrieved From: https://www.edglossary.org/stereotype-threat/

Humanrights.gov.au. (2018). What is Racism? Retrieved From: https://www.humanrights.gov.au/what-racism-1

Lohumi. (2015). Sociology for Nurses. India: Elsevier Health Sciences.

People-press.org. (2018). Race, immigration and discrimination. Retrieved From: https://www.people-press.org/2017/10/05/4-race-immigration-and-discrimination/
Thefreedictionary.com. (2018). Race. Retrieved From: https://www.thefreedictionary.com/Racial+Groups

Psychology.org.au. (2018). Psychological perspectives on racism. Retrieved From: https://www.psychology.org.au/publications/inpsych/2013/august/augoustinos

Serpe, R. T., & Stryker, S. (2011). The symbolic interactionist perspective and identity theory. In Handbook of identity theory and research (pp. 225-248). Springer, New York, NY.

Taylor, S., T. (2018). The Psychology of Racism. Retrieved From: https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/out-the-darkness/201801/the-psychology-racism

Thehistoricalnerds.com. (2018). Race and Ethnicity in Society. Retrieved From: https://thehistoricalnerds.com/2013/01/20/race-and-ethnicity-in-society/

Worldatlas.com. (2018). Major Ethnic Groups Of Canada. Retrieved From:  https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/ethnic-groups-and-nationalities-of-canada.html

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