Functionalism and Conflict Theory in Understanding Racial Inequality in Australia
1. A range of racial inequalities persist in Australia. Using the lenses of functionalism and/or conflict theory, and drawing on at least one clear example, provide an account of current racial inequalities in Australia.
2. Explain the implications of unemployment in late modernity.
3. In your own words, what is this reading about? What contribution does it make to the discipline of sociology? Format your answer as follows:
1. Summary of the reading. What is it about?
2. What were the research methods used?
3. How does this reading help develop our sociological understanding of social change more broadly?
1. In the recent epoch, racism raises its ugly face and permeates the landscape. The whole world is countenancing a crucial problem. The Afro-Asians and the mixed race people face the problem that creates havoc around the world. Australia is one such country that witnesses the rising storm of racism. The indigenous population of Australia has been facing such situation since time immemorial. After the coming of the English people, the country saw an intermingling of autochthonous and foreign elements. The natives of the country faced racial discrimination that devastated their life.
Herbert Spencer, Emile Durkheim and Robert Merton develop the functionalist perspective. According to the concept, society interlaced various elements that function in unison. It maintains social equilibrium for the whole. Australia presents a typical case of racial discrimination that transgresses the margin of International Law. The country is ostensibly separated from the world by sea. The anthem also encapsulates such idea. However, the country segregates the entire strata of the population by augmenting racial tensions. Racial inequalities create problems in the cities of America and United Kingdom. However, the recent racial upsurge in Australia engenders problems in the nation. The country has set the paradigm of economic development. Conversely, the poor image of racially torn society makes Australia a rigid zone.
In the recent time, the aborigines of Australia face lethal situation. The aboriginal babies have low weight and suffer from malnutrition. About 80 percent of indigenous population goes through severe problems, as far as the maintenance of health is concerned. The media claims that about half of the native men and women of Australia died before the attainment of right age. The newspaper covers the story of scores of people created consternation near Brisbane’s Parklands that vehemently protested against the death of Aborigines in custody. It is an instance of racial exclusiveness that traumatizes the indigenous population of Australia. The Aboriginal and Torres Islander women consist of 33% of the total prison population (women). The aboriginal women and men folk suffer from various racial problems. The racial inequality is a serious problem that also involves Islamic tension. Islam phobia is escalating in Australia and it assumes a problematic terrain. Due to ignorance and racial problems, the Muslims face rigorous tensions in Australia. The incidents take an alarming high shape in and around Australia. Such problems are not limited to a few regions. The media reports that women in veil (hijab) face complicated situation in the streets. They are physically tormented. Therefore, the Muslim women feel afraid to come out of their secluded cocoon in Launceston.
Implications of Unemployment in Late Modernity
2. Unemployment is the most crucial problem that affects the young population mostly. The problem of unemployment poses serious threat to the world demography. It bears a far-reaching repercussion in the social domain. Australia is one such country that comes out of the global financial depression. However, the problem of unemployment pervades the nation. The major issue of unemployment looms large over the country. The rate of unemployment leaps from about 4% to 6% between 2008 and 2009. The situation persists for a long time and it encompasses the young people of the nation. It gravely affects the nature of economy and devastates the labor ecosystem. It assumes various characters in the recent time and compounds the problems of the nation. In the recent era, the type of frictional unemployment creates disturbance. The particular variant of unemployment (frictional unemployment) severely affects the youth of the world. The young people of Australia and other parts of the world have been facing such scenario. They countenance downward course during the time of depression.
Subsequently, the declining economic activity reduces the pace of productivity in the recent phase. Under such circumstances, the young people (20-30) age groups suffer from career tensions and chronic depressions. Such problems create a difficult situation for the young people. The youth of the nation witness a drastic transition from education to employment. The statistics reveal that during May 2012, the level of unemployment (15 to 19) years people shrinks to 18.8%. However, the rate of unemployment for the older groups is 5.8%. (abc.net.au 2014) The rate is relatively lesser for the older groups than for the younger groups (abc.net.au 2014). With the increasing slumps, the log-term unemployment or structural unemployment persists for a long time. The escalating number has attracted the Young Australians. They have been going through a phase of depression since time immemorial. The problem assumes rein not only in Australia, but also in other parts of the world. The problem of youth unemployment is on alarmingly high in the recent time. The newspapers claim that about 50,000 young Australians are out of the employed phase. At the same time, the vestige of productivity disappeared.
At the other end of the spectrum, the growing unemployment severely damages the reputation and status of the young employees. The problem of unemployment stifles the rate of productivity in every way. It creates ruckus and it gravely affects the young population.
The Gang: A Study of 1,313 Gangs in Chicago(1927): A Contribution to Sociological Research
3. The book, The Gang: A study of 1,313 Gangs in Chicago (1927) written by Frederick Thrasher explicates the theme of ‘Gang’ that describes the cohort of young people. According to Thrasher, the plight of America at the end of the 19th century became dismally poor. Consequently, many young people became street rogues that damaged the social picture of the United States. During this time, the immigrants based out of ethnic ghettos in the near-by localities assume various characteristics. Such people create the conglomeration of races and commingling of diverse cultures. At the same time, the debased accommodation and inferior unemployment prospects projected a complicated picture (Temple et al. 2011).
The book, The Gang: A study of 1,313 Gangs in Chicago appeared in 1927. The book is a picturesque and multi-segmented anecdote of juvenile gangs that were persistent in the US states. The book belongs to the Chicago School of Sociology. The book assumes a new style that delves into the study of criminal gangs towards the end of the 19th century. It reflects on the contemporary research and changing perspective of the gang life. The book explains about the post positivist approach and greatly delineates the scope of criminology. It explores the advent of fresh research paradigm that interlaces radical perspective and social influence (Gelder 2005).
The book, The Gang: A study of 1,313 Gangs in Chicago (1927) penned down by Frederick Thrasher mentions about the social changes that crept in the society. The book encapsulates varied conditions that narrate socially disarrayed localities. In these localities, the social control and mechanism were inefficient and weak. Due to the dearth of social control and discipline, the young people transgressed the ethical code and strove towards the path of violence. The research of Thrasher opened new avenues of sociological research in the recent phase. The book depicts that gangs emanate from the lower segment of social and economic backgrounds. They belonged to the subculture domain that was a divergence from middle-class culture. The book talks about the deteriorating plight of the US society that was conditioned by ineffective social control and powerful institutions. The book maintains that gangs and criminal scenes influence the behavior and conduct of the people. In any society, criminal activities are extremely in vogue. These have portrayed a dismal picture of the society. The book elucidates a situation, which manifests changing power equations. The local gangs spawn a heated climate that influences other adolescents to take up arms and adopts the path of violence. Through an illegitimate means, they create ruckus and make the people of the society kneel before the fate of annihilation (Gelder 2005).
The book, The Taxi-Dance Hall gives an enthralling account of the taxi dance halls of the 1920s. It is an intricate sociological study written by Sociologist Paul G. Cressey. The book appeared under the rubric of The Taxi-Dance Hall: A Sociological Study in Commercialized Recreation and City Life in 1925. The book gives a vivid description of the social institutions. The history is based on the interviews given by the taxi drivers and their patrons. It explores a new terrain, which is not deciphered. The author of the book aims to evaluate and analyse the scenario, in relation to the taste and preference of the American citizens.
The book, The Taxi-Dance Hall exhibits the Chicago School Variant of Subculture that is entrenched in the methodological approach of Sociology. The approach entails the study of youth cultures in varied forms. The book is written from the perspective of subcultures that plays a crucial role in the designing of the text. The usage of ethnographic methods, for an instance the observation of participants forms the core of the book. While exploring the ethnographic variations, Cressey mentions that the profession of the taxi dancers is not about earning money. The profession reveals the cultural significance of the workers. It is a unique way of representing the writing and research.
The book, The Taxi-Dance Hall reflects on the changing trend and perspective of the society. It captures the ‘transitory phase’ of women that entered the social circuit through varied occupations. The women liberally sublimate into activates that help to preserve the values of civilization. The book depicts a new picture of women as ‘lap dancer’ that is a divergence from the coy phase. The recluse status of women is relegated to the background and new images appeared. The book explores a ‘transformative stage’ that needs to be brought within the purview of the audience. It discusses new precepts that change the perception of the sociological study. The ‘tacit norms’ form a colossal part of the subcultures of the lap dancers and assume a discursive role. It helps to maintain the social sustainability and preserves the knowledge-power relationship. The writing of Cressey exhibits interplay of sociological understanding and thematic discussion.
Cressey formed nine variants to elucidate the types of patrons:
- The racial group did not get admission elsewhere.
- The immigrants of Caucasia hail from European country such as Italians, Poles, Greeks, Jews and the Mediterranean people.
- The elderly people, who have the tendency to court young women, remain sometimes disenchanted from the family.
- Married men often suffer from various problems that seek secret adventures.
- The separated men, coming from rural areas, form a new culture.
- The adventurer have the proclivity to rove about the world
- The slummer, men of higher stature, have aspired to see the living of counterparts.
- There are people who suffer from congenital anomalies that disabled them in varied ways.
- Many refugees have a criminal inclination or people who suffer from local sabotage.
abc.net.au. 2014. ABC News. Retrieved 15 October 2016, from https://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-08-07/a-lost-generation3a-young-people-struggle-to-find-work/5656348
Temple, J. Adair, T. and Hosseini, M. 2011. Ageing and the Barriers to Mature Age Labour Force Participation in Australia. National Seniors Australia.
Gelder, K. 2005. The Gangland. The Subcultures Reader.
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