Thoroughly define at least two of the sociological theories (functionalism, conflict, symbolic interactionism) and identify the main theorists responsible for each theory you select. Then contrast the theories, explaining the distinctive ways in which each theory would approach the same phenomenon. The phenomenon you must examine is as follows:
From Ferguson to Baltimore, and most recently Charlotte – the scene has become all too familiar – another police shooting, another Black man dead. Protests and riots ensue; the National Guard is called in, and a state of emergency declared. Why does this keep happening? Racial tensions are once again stirred, and leaders of the NAACP and Black Lives Matter Movement cry out for accountability and an end to police brutality. Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers “has vowed not to stand for the anthem until the injustices…have been meaningfully addressed.” And other athletes and teams from high schools and colleges have joined him. Is this the America we profess to be? How would a sociologist, using at least two of the major theoretical perspectives, interpret this debate?
To learn more about this issue, four articles featured in The New York Times, “What We Know About the Details of the Police Shooting in Charlotte (Links to an external site.),” “Fatal Shooting by Police Shakes Charlotte’s Self-Image (Links to an external site.),” “Why We Are Protesting in Charlotte (Links to an external site.),” and “Colin Kaepernick and the Question of Who Gets to Be Called a ‘Patriot’ (Links to an external site.)” are available To examine additional articles on the situation, visit The New York Times (Links to an external site.)and type in the key phrase “Police Brutality” in the search engine on that site.