|Interracial Marriage Article
The article I read was on interracial marriage. Out of the three sociological theories one specific theory comes to mind. Symbolic Interactionism can best be described as how we interact with one another using symbols, how our society influences the individual, and how we internalize and interpret those symbols. Symbolic interactionism plays a very important role in society. I believe it applies heavily to interracial relationships because people are known to stick to the Norm, which is an expectation or rule of behavior that is derived from our values. When something is done outside the norm it creates a wave of impression upon people, thus introducing influence. These influences create Sanctions, which are reactions to the way people follow norms. Negative feedback or repercussions are known as Negative Sanctions. Negative sanctions for the most part, have helped to protect the old fashion values in which our country lived by many decades ago. Values are best described as the standards by which we define what is good and bad, acceptable and unacceptable Symbolic interactionism plays a huge role on the values of our country. As the times change and more influence is created, it alternatively adjusts the opinions of society and molds the way we internalize the interactions we have with different people.
I believe there were two sociological research methods used to write this article. The first one being Secondary Analysis and the second being Documentation. Secondary Analysis is when a researcher uses data that someone else has already collected, and Documentation is when a researcher uses sources such as books, newspapers, or court records to gather key information for the project. I believe the author used secondary analysis because there were many short paragraphs that contained facts from the national Census Bureau that clearly the author didn't collect themselves. This can be referred to as a document research method as well, because the author collected the information from the Census Bureau through a source. The article also uses documentation in which I strongly believe helps support the sociological theory of symbolic interactionism. One example from the article was the Loving vs.The State Of virginia ruling. The author uses court documents to explain the landmark case in 1967 when a white man by the name of Richard Loving was banned by the state of Virgina from marrying an African American woman by the name of Mildred Jeter due to the Racial Integrity Act which banned whites from marrying non-whites. The author uses secondary analysis by stating that interracial marriages have increased from 65,000 in 1970 to 422,000 in 2005 ever since the Richard Loving trial in 1967 which supports symbolic interactionism. The Loving trial was symbolic in its own way and later proved to have created an everlasting impression on the United States influencing hundreds of thousands of interracial marriages over the last few decades.
Some of the concepts in my Sociology book were discussed earlier in the paper such as Norms, Sanctions, Negative Sanctions, and Values, but other concepts that I believe were relevant to the article was Ethnocentrism, which is described as using your own culture as a basis of judging others. Many years ago in the 50's and 60's everything was pretty much apples and oranges. Our culture was originally segregated, and interracial relationships were Taboo, or proscribed by society as improper or unacceptable. Ethnocentrism was supported in the article by records and documentation that proved harmful descrimination against people who were in interracial relationships. Banning such marriages as one between a white and a non-white helped establish our culture at that time, and solidified what was appropriate and what was not. The article also relates to the concept of Soclialization which is the process by which we learn the ways of our society. The author talks about the drastic increase in interracial marriages from 1970 to 2005 which supports the concept of socialization. Facts such as these collected by the Census Bureau prove that socialization has taken place over the last three decades, people have learned, adapted, and began to accept the ways of our society and we as a system of people have all learned to conform to something that once upon a time was met with revoltion, but came about in large part due to symbolic interactionism. The last concept that I believe is not only related to, but also supported by the article is Non-Material Culture. Non-Material Culture can best be described as our patterns of behavior and ways of thinking. The author states in the article that "Opinion polls show overwhelming popular support, especially among younger people, for interracial marriage." This proves that our non-material culture has changed over time thus affecting our values of today.
In conclusion to the article my personal immersion aspect stands stronger than ever. This article has affected me in the way that I have much more appreciation for freedom, privilege, and diversity. I am more aware of the racial barriers we have overcome and this article has affected me in a positive way knowing that this new direction, socialization, and non-material culture has produced a society that is more diverse and less stratified than it used to be. Knowing that there is better education, support groups, and better opportunities for minorities than there was 20 or even 30 years ago affects my motivation, my determination, and my drive. Through reading this article, I believe a world without color expands the potential of a great nation in the prime of its magnitude, and hopefully in God's Will, if I live to see my grandchildren get married, I hope they can grow to appreciate something as simple as having the right to choose who you want to spend the rest of your life with.