You are a sociologist who is interested in studying school violence. Describe how you might approach the study of this phenomenon as a functionalist, a conflict theorist and a symbolic interaction’. “Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars… Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
Martin Luther King Jr. The problem we are facing today with violence in the schools is a major concern with communities everywhere. School violence has escalated from one-on-one weaponless fights for personal disagreements with said person; this is no longer the case.
Due to the outward influences of media, video games, and society in general, this has escalated into all-out, deadly weapon assaults on innocent lives for reasons they themselves are usually unaware for example Columbine High School massacre and Montreal, Canada shooting. Sociologist; however have developed different approaches to evaluate the phenomenon through different perspective; functionalist, conflict theorist and symbolic integrationist, which would be aptly discussed in the proceeding paragraphs.
Functionalist look at the implications of crime and control polices rather than directly trying to explain the causes of the behavior. According to Parson Model a social system consist of mutually dependant parts, parts contributing to functioning of system and moving equilibrium. However pertaining to the issue of school violence, I would, following the functionalist perspective look at school violence as way to return to stability within a society thus keeping proper balance .
Therefore I would view it as a positive, because the disturbance (school violence) exists more dangerously it encourages the society to come up with better solutions to elevate the problem so it encourages progress. For examples the Columbine Massac with occurred lead to new ideas to combat school violence .A number of new programs were introduced, emphasis was placed on better parenting skills, keeping guns out of hands of kids ,better school security, more counseling programs and bett3er preventative measure, etc.
When these methods were implemented no action to that extreme occurred within that society so their fore the youth violence was reduced and the society moved and the society in return became a better place and progress was made. Conflict perspective holds that stratification is dysfunctional and harmful in society, with inequality perpetuated because it benefits the rich and powerful at the expense of the poor. A struggle for dominance among competing social groups (classes, genders, races, religions, etc.).
When conflict theorists look at society, they see the social domination of subordinate groups through the power, authority, and coercion of dominant groups. As it results to school violence using the conflict theorist approach, I would say the violence will only exist at level of exploitation and unworthy or treated unfairly compared to other children they felt a level of inequality and they reacted in a way to gain power over the people who inflicted pain upon them.
For example let’s take the Columbine shooting, according to the conflict theorist perspective say that the shootings were inevitable as the exploited, bullied kids eventually had enough and rose up against the bourgeoisie, or the kids that did the bullying. Eric Harris one of the boys who participated the shooting opened his journal with the words “I hate the f—ing world.” Showing high levels of hatred to which he portrayed, he wanted to get back at every one who did him wrong. After analyzing the two individual’s journals it was clear cut that they both had problem with society and somehow they did them something which infiltrated this hate for them.
So we can see the reason for them to perform these atrocious acts were to gain a sense of dominances in their mind over these people. When doing the act we see the boys smiling while people were being hurting showing a sign of relief in their face and sense of happiness to them that they revenge to the world for inflicting so much of pain upon them.
Analyzing them for a conflict theorist point of view I would say the reason for the boys committing suicide after was to get away from everything they already accomplished the goal they wanted so they decided to end their life what more is there to live for when victory was served? Symbolic integrationist view relies on the symbolic meaning that people develop and rely upon in the process of social interaction. Thus, society is thought to be socially constructed through human interpretation. Symbolic interaction view school violence as