A sociologist conducts research into the ways that Hispanic American students are historically underprivileged in the American education system. What theoretical approach is the sociologist using?
|a. Symbolic interactionism|
c. Conflict theory
The Correct Answer Is:
c. Conflict theory
Correct Answer: c. Conflict theory
The sociologist is employing the conflict theory in their research on the historical underprivilege of Hispanic American students in the American education system.
Conflict theory is a prominent sociological framework that focuses on the inherent competition and conflict in society, particularly regarding the distribution of resources, power, and opportunities. Here’s why the conflict theory is the correct approach for this research:
Conflict theory emphasizes social inequality and how it arises from the unequal distribution of resources and opportunities in society.
In the case of Hispanic American students, the sociologist is likely examining how systemic factors such as unequal funding for schools in marginalized communities, discriminatory policies, and biased teaching practices contribute to their underprivileged status.
This theoretical approach looks at the dynamics of power and how different groups or classes in society struggle for control over resources.
In the context of education, it would consider how certain groups, including Hispanic Americans, may face structural barriers that hinder their access to quality education.
Furthermore, conflict theory also considers the role of social institutions like education in perpetuating or challenging existing inequalities.
For Hispanic American students, this might involve investigating how educational policies and practices have historically disadvantaged them, either deliberately or inadvertently.
By employing conflict theory, the sociologist is likely to scrutinize the broader societal structures and systems that contribute to the educational disadvantages faced by Hispanic American students.
This could involve analyzing policies, funding allocations, curriculum choices, and teaching practices to identify areas where systemic change is needed.
Why Other Answers are Not Correct:
a. Symbolic Interactionism:
Symbolic interactionism is a micro-level sociological theory that focuses on how individuals interact through symbols and meanings. It’s concerned with the interpretation of symbols and how they shape social interactions.
While this perspective can be valuable in understanding how individuals perceive and interpret their educational experiences, it doesn’t provide a comprehensive framework for analyzing systemic inequalities that affect a whole group, such as Hispanic American students.
Functionalism is a macro-level theory that emphasizes how different parts of society work together to maintain stability and order. It sees social institutions, including education, as serving specific functions in maintaining social cohesion.
While functionalism can help explain some aspects of the education system, it tends to downplay conflicts and inequalities, which are central to the research topic at hand. It wouldn’t be the most appropriate theory for investigating historical underprivilege.
Ethnocentrism refers to the tendency to view one’s own culture or ethnic group as superior to others. It is not a sociological theory, but rather a psychological or cultural bias.
While ethnocentrism can certainly be a factor in perpetuating inequalities, it doesn’t provide a theoretical framework for analyzing the systemic and structural issues that underlie the historical underprivilege of Hispanic American students.
In conclusion, the conflict theory is the most suitable theoretical approach for the sociologist’s research on the historical underprivilege of Hispanic American students in the
American education system, as it focuses on social inequality, power dynamics, and the systemic factors that contribute to educational disparities.