Select a Public Issue and provide an analysis of the issue by developing a conflict theory perspective. It is expected that course material, along with research resources, will be utilized in the analysis. See handout (distributed in class). Due Date: January 25th in class.
This assignment is worth 25% of your final grade. It should be typed and double-spaced, 5-6 pages in length (1250-1500 words), and include a bibliography. Late papers will not be accepted. Please use APA referencing, e.g., (Mills, 1959: 37), and include the full reference in the bibliography. ______________________________________________________________________________ Public Issues Paper- Same-sex Marriage
The general problem with same-sex marriage is the inequality and stigmas attached to these families and relationships. Specific Issues that make up the General Problem
Laws and punishment for homosexuality
Early Homosexual relationships (Greece)
Legalization of Marriage/Partnerships
Support/Bullying (September Suicides)
Key Interest Groups
No one is omitted because people of all ages are being bullied about their sexuality Children, elderly, celebs are all judged by their sexuality and not by their character or talent How Does The Media Treat This Issue?
Shown in the media through movies and TV
Lady Gaga and Cyndi Lauper
It does not provide a slant to this issue, it is introducing a different lifestyle so the LGBT community can live in peace Sociology Text Pages:
Homosexuality: pg. 318-323
Same-Sex Families: pg. 453-54
Sexual Orientation: pg. 318-23, 453-454
Transgender: People break society’s gender norms by defying the rigid distinction between female and male Transexual: Believe they were born with the ‘wrong’ body. They identify with, and want to live fully as, members of the ‘opposite’ sex Homosexual: People who prefer sexual partners of the same sex. People usually call homosexual men gay, and homosexual women lesbians. Bisexual: People who enjoy sexual partners of both sexes
Homophobic: People are afraid of homosexuals
To what Specific Institutions or systems, is the issue connected? The issue is connected to many things in society. It is connected to marriage as an institution. It is connected to relationships, whether a friendship or romantic relationship. It is connected to Human Rights because the revolting response to their relationships is a violation against ones’ Human Rights. How is the relevant institution or system set up and operating? It is relevant because marriage and romantic relationships between two people are present in everyday life. Its operating through the legality of marriage/partnership of two same-sex people. In some societies this relationship transitions smoothly in society and in others it is transitioned with a fight or revolt (Religious Groups, Bullies) Is Society of institution undergoing any significant historical changes? The legalization of same-sex marriage is gaining momentum in different states in America, and around the world. The social acceptance and support to the LGBT community is growing Are there any strains or contradictions within the institution or system? California Legalization 2008, same-sex marriage was legalized and months later it was revoked. (Proposition 8) How is the issue the result of the institution working the way it was set up to work? With positive encouragement and support from the public, the institution of marriage is now being treated as it was meant to be, which was to showcase and highlight the love between two people. ______________________________________________________________________________ Topics to Discuss:
Westboro Baptist Church
Hollywood United Methodist Church
The September Suicides, The Trevor Project, ‘It Gets Better...’, Tyler Clementi Don’t Ask Don’t Tell
Toronto’s Gay Penguins, Gay Penguins in China Adopt
______________________________________________________________________________ Conflict Theory Perspective:
Conflict theory helps to explain this problem the theory explains the pluralistic nature of society and the differential distribution of power among groups. Some groups use their power to create rules particularly laws to serve and promote their interest. That is what the government has been doing with the issue of gay marriage. The conflict theory of social conflict maintains that social problems arise from the power struggle between the wealthy, powerful elite groups in society and less powerful groups for resources. With gay marriage, we see that the elite groups (the Catholic Church, Republicans, the Bush Administration, the Religious Right, etc.) have fought for a ban on gay marriage. With the conflict theorists emphasizes the inevitability of coercion, domination, conflict, and change in society. The battle over same-sex marriage is shaping into something more than deep societal tradition vs. civil rights. It is becoming a conflict of equality vs. religious liberty.We can never resolve the debate over same-sex marriage until we separate legal marriage from religious marriage. It should be noted what protections and benefits are being fought for in the homosexual marriage debate.
A functionalist assumes that society is made up of interrelated parts, each of which contributes to the functioning of society as a whole. Functionalist society is composed of stable patterns (social structure) which have consequences for society as a whole. When working properly, each part contributes to the stability of the whole, fulfilling a function that contributes to a system's equilibrium. However, sometimes the parts can be dysfunctional for society. One way this can occur is when a change in one part of society disrupts the functioning of another part. A functionalist theorist examines the consequences of a specific institution for society as a whole. Much has been decried of, in social conservative circles, about the dangers facing society due to agents ranging from "atheists" to "the homosexual agenda."