Sociology

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Juliet McKelvey
Sociology
March 15, 2011

Assignment: Page 151
Question: Apply the symbolic interactionist, functionalist, and conflict perspectives to the three-strikes laws. For symbolic interactionism,what does these laws represent to the public? How does your answer differ depending on what part of “the public” you are referring to? For functionalism, who benefits from these laws? What are some of their functions? Their dysfunctions? For the conflict perspective, what groups are in conflict? Who has the power to enforce their will on others?

Symbolic interactionist, functionalist, and conflict perspectives as applied to the three-

strike laws are theories that were developed to explain deviance such as crimes which

are the violation of norms, and the penalties that follows.

For the symbolic interactionist: During the 1980s crimes were increasing all over

America and people were living in fear. In order to relieve these fears, politicians,

without thinking that some minor crimes were considered felonies, passed the three-

strike laws.
I think that these laws to the public, represents the lawmakers, they want the “ public“,

the people who were living in fear, such business men and people in the communities

that were affected by these crimes. On the other hand the people who committed

the crimes are the ones that faces the consequences that follows.

For the functionalist perspective: Because some of the people in our society do not

have a set goal in life and they are poor, instead of trying to find the resources that will

help them to reach a goal in socially and appropriate ways so that they can function in

society, they try to take the easy way out, so, they resort to crimes where they have to

pay the penalty of the three- strike law...
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