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Sociological Theories

Symbolic Interaction Perspective

Symbolic interaction perspective is a theory that is based on symbolic meanings people develop, acquire, and depend on in their daily interactions with other people. It states that people would act according to how they interpret the world and not based on the things that people say about it (Joan 37). The theory takes a critical look at how people attach meanings to the objects, situations, and behaviors around them. These subjective meanings arise from the fact that the actions of people are mainly influenced by what they believe in and not what is the reality. The society is a construction of the interpretations by humans.

Ignacio, a police officer with two children and works as an immigration officer has the duty of ensuring that all the laws pertaining to immigration are followed to the latter. Ignacio has the responsibility of detecting and arresting those who have broken the migration rules, crossed the border unlawfully and then charging them according to the migration laws. Migration officers are trained to be ruthless and tough with the immigrants. They have been made to believe that almost all migrants are running from something and should be checked thoroughly before they cross the border..

Through interactions with other officers, Ignacio could have heard everything they say about migrants, how some migrants cause problems in the host countries. This would not affect how Ignacio sees immigrants because his own brother is an immigrant worker in another country. Symbolic interactionsim has made him develop a different attitude towards immigrants. He would attach a different meaning to that term “immigrant” and would act according to the attached meaning (Joan 38). He understands some people cross the border in search of greener pasture and so should be allowed to do so, this may have made him help the brother to move to California.

Functionalist Perspective

Functionalists’ perspective states that all the societal aspects are interdependent and contribute to the overall functionality of the society. An example is a government that provides services to its citizens, the citizens in return pay taxes that the government uses to maintain its operations (Johnson 380). The children go through the schools managed by government, the schools teach them how to be law-abiding citizens and useful members in the society. The children learn to work hard and become taxpayers in future to support the same government.

Ignacio works as a migration officer. He gets a salary and he pays taxes to the Nicaragua government. The government then uses tax from its working citizens to build infrastructures like schools, where Ignacio’s children go to school. If the system works well and succeeds, then the children would finish the schooling, then join the labor force and pay taxes to the government. In this way, both the government and the citizens play their part in contributing to the full functioning of the society (Johnson 380).

The system may fail and not work as stated above and some things like unemployment may crop up. Ignacio may lose his job or even the children fail to get jobs when they grow. Such factors may force one to go out of their country to seek work in other countries, like Ignacio’s brother did. Legal migrant workers play a big  role in the functioning of  the society just like every other citizen.

Being a migration officer, there is a high chance that he played a part in ensuring his brother moved out of the country successfully. If something bad happens to Ignacio, his brother would be the one to take care of Ignacio’s family. In case he loses his job, then he may follow his brother in California and look for work there. This shows that everyone and every institution have its contribution in the society, people may not realize because maybe the time has not reached for the contribution take place (Johnson 380).

Conflict Perspective

It is discussed above that migrant officer has the duty of ensuring that migrants do not cross the border without having necessary requirements needed for one to cross the border. One question that people should ask is, who are the people who put these restrictions in place? Could it be the poor or the rich? The conflict perspective argues that such restrictions are in operation as measures by the rich to maintain the status quo in the society (Brinkerhoff , Ortega and Weitz 10).

Orders are forced on poor people so that social changes is limited or avoided in totality. The conflict theorists argue that sometimes social revolution is necessary to alter the status quo in the world (Brinkerhoff , Ortega and Weitz 11). The conflicts, which arise in the society due to inequality, force people to compete with one another for the few resources available. The conflict that may drive one away from his country may also arise from things like lack of jobs, racial oppressions, religious conflicts, or even political instability. Those who are unlucky in this competition may be forced to try somewhere else.

Other conflicts may arise from the factors on the part of the country where the immigrant goes to. The brother could have gone to California because well-paying jobs are available there. This would enable him to make enough money to take care of his own family and maybe send some back home. The religious freedom, strong human rights laws, and laws can also play a part in someone moving to another country.

Ignacio is also in conflict with his job and the situation of his brother. He must be careful how he handles issues relating to immigration or else it would affect his relationship with his brother. Therefore, there is a conflict between brothers because of the jobs they do.

Works Cited

 Brinkerhoff, David , Ortega, Suzanne, & Weitz, Rose . Essentials of Sociology. S.l.: Wadsworth, 2013. Print.

Ferrante-Wallace, Joan. Sociology: A Global Perspective. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2013. Print.

Johnson, Doyle P. Contemporary Sociological Theory: An Integrated Multilevel Approach. New York: Springer, 2008. Print.