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The legislation of undocumented citizens in most nations has wide societal aspects in the contemporary society. The paradigms tend to explain these occurrences and stipulate their consequences. Social paradigms have been put across to elaborate these phenomena. They include the conflict paradigm, symbolic interaction paradigm and structural functionalist paradigm. A Structural functionalist paradigm refers to a theory construction idea that looks into and, considers various communities and societies as a dynamic system (Andersen, 34). The system is made up of integral components that function together holistically to champion for and achieve, among other things, peace unity, love, togetherness and a stable environment. Emile Durkheim a sociologist (Babbie, 121) championed for the use of scientific method in the study of sociology. Structural functionalist paradigm basically describes or, concerned with two major ideas. One of the two ideas or components is the behavior pattern and, sequence of events regarding stable structure of social set up. The second one is the activity and the various roles played in a social structure or set up. The second one could also refer to the out comes or results of the activities and behavior of the society socially.
Consequently, Structural functionalism as stipulated by Herbert Spencer is a social system in the society that is made up of groups or sets of intertwined structures or components .The society would generate from a state of confusion to an orderly community (Babbie, 72). The intertwining or interlocking of the components is majorly for their survival and, attainment of basic needs such as, the adaptation .Firstly, understanding of the world or surrounding in terms of physical endowment, natural endowment as well as material endowment in other words the economy of the world. Secondly, it concerns the making the right decisions and, attainment of pertinent goals and issues, in other words the political system. The third aspect is bringing together and, ensuring proper management of institutions such as judiciary, legislature, executive and religion among others. And the lastly one is upholding cultural and, social moral values in spite of various challenges in other words, to maintain their status quo and pattern. These emanated from the ideology of Karl Marx who advocated for the capability of each individual (Geyer, 242). These four basic requirements operate in different stages which, enables the structural functionalism system to help the society in adopting the necessary changes and, to cope up with the changing world trends.
Robert Merton stipulates the structural functionalist paradigm which, looks at the structural component of the society as more or less in the same manner as that of an organism consisting of simpler structures or parts. The parts operate and work with each other for the common good and realization of an all round efficient an effective community or society. The sociologist stipulated the society as a unanimous item (Scheff, 22). Structural functionalism as a theory ensures that the society is established and maintained based on good relationship, cooperation, moral standards among other things in order to achieve a smooth holistic process. In Auguste Comte ideology, he emphasized the power of understanding nature of human beings. (Scheff, 35). This puts the paradigm of Structural functionalism also looks at the collective responsibility shared and, moral values as the foundation upon which the society is put up. It places emphasis on social acceptable rules and regulations as well as behaviors which are as a result of cooperation and coordination of various individuals, institution, groups, communities and organizations, and considers growth of social dynamics as taking too long but however on the right tract. Structural functionalist paradigm is of the view that change is in most cases paramount in order to do away with evils and failures in the social set up, but it has to be at a lower pace so that various interested parties can be able to adopt it with much ease and efficiency. That would be beneficial to them in the long run.
Consequently, structural functionalist paradigm operates within the boundaries and consideration of seven key assumptions. The seven assumptions point out to various different analytical which includes individuals, institution, groups, communities and organizations. One of the assumptions is that structures or social set ups are characterized in their existence by systematic arrangement and interdependence of integral components. This is the order and togetherness which ensures unity and oneness in societies and social set ups. The second assumption is that the likelihood of the system to observe and keep up a state of balance by itself. Social set ups and societies perform smoothly to give out better result when the system is working naturally as a whole. Thirdly it assumes that the system could adopt stationery or a dynamic transition process.
The fourth assumption assumes that the characteristic of a single component of the system influences to a large extent the structure taken by other parts or components of the system (Geyer, 172). The fifth one is that systems will tend to be confined and therefore retain the confines of their surroundings. Surroundings of the extreme exterior and, which are spontaneous put up with one another despite the distance of separation between them. A similar structure occurs within societies and social set ups incase of a major conflict occurring amongst the others. The sixth assumption is that coordination and interrelationship between two major actions is pertinent to achieve a state of balance in a given system. Specialization goes along way in bringing about equilibrium in tasks and occupations. All components work in a relationship to bring about a peaceful and efficient surrounding; this ensures that demanding roles are entrusted to motivated and, qualified individual for such positions. Finally, the seventh assumption is that every component interacts to create peaceful and efficient environment.
The structural functionalist paradigm places a lot of emphasis on big social set ups or institutions. Some Functionalists argue is that, in the systematic structure or roadmap to function, it serves to place and encourage people to be in the relevant options in the social set up (Stanley, 87). This can be done by employing two ways. One is that, the community may put in the right people the desire and, urge to occupy various certain positions and, secondly is by the society finding a way of maintaining and encouraging the right individuals occupying various important positions to continue pressing on without getting tired on even giving up along the way. In other words, the structural functionalist paradigm strongly advocates for the recognition of positions or jobs that are extremely important to the society as well as the people holding these positions for example doctors, engineers, pilot etc. by appropriately and constantly rewarding them. This would keep them motivated; keep them on their toes as well as to ensure that the zeal and desire that is them does not die out at any one particular point in time.
Undocumented immigrant would be looked at by structural functionalist paradigm as, perpetrators of the ongoing misunderstanding and, national debate concerning the illegal undocumented immigrants as a constructive way towards providing the economically viable environment, in cooperating the manpower and the mechanization that is relevant. It should be a vital tool in the generation of the output that is waited upon and, being looked up to by the society. In other words, illegal undocumented immigrants contribute greatly to the requirements of the American social system to carry on with being in existence. One of the most controversial concerns which are often seen in the media is how, these Undocumented immigrants are obtaining and carrying away with them so many jobs that, Americans could otherwise be in a very good position to comfortably do. The fact of the matter is that quite a number of jobs and, work opportunities that are being carried away by these Undocumented immigrants are jobs as well as duties that are far much below the level and, skills of the American worker.
According to Durkheim, a modern sociology, voices bout and suggests that, the primary responsibility of labor was more or less similar and operates in the same manner with a person’s bodily functions (Geyer, 44): every one of the parts making a very important contribution towards the general health of the entirely integrated body which, in other words, refers to the society. When for one reason or the other, a part fails to function as is required of it; this had an adverse effect on the integral body as a whole in other words the society. The controversies revolving round the controversial question of Undocumented immigration could, no doubt have had a very great impact on the society as a whole, as the available resources are more likely to fade away, then the American worker would seemingly be placed in a very awkward situation to put up with the provision of these functions. This is a fact that may not be comfortably and silently as solution by very many people. The structural functionalist paradigm may be of the view that a solution needs to be looked for or generated in order to come up with legal strategies. These Undocumented immigrants have to take advantage and, even make good use of them. This has made the Congress to currently debate on, as well as weighing out these options.
Furthermore, another concern put forward by the issue of Undocumented immigrants is their contribution to the rapid growth of the economy. However, the failure of Americans to understand the fact of the matter as well as other auxiliary information concerning the Undocumented immigrants, by explaining that they have come up with information and ideas that are untrue in their mind rationalizing that the work opportunities they are parting away with, are not actual work opportunities that they would be able to do after all.
The Undocumented immigrants have really contributed to the stability of the country by taking part in economic activities such as involving themselves and taking part in various jobs and activities pertaining to business. This has made them to be very instrumental in contributing to the entire rapid growth of the economy. That has positively contributed to the stability of the national economy and is commendable. Another thing is that they have led to the introduction of competition in the market and various industries.
This has seen most workers as well as job holders and employees work even much harder in order for them to retain their positions, as a way of coping up with competition. As a result of this, there has been fairly economic stability in the national economy. Another contribution is that, the presence of the so called undocumented immigrants has lead to increase in the revenue collection by considerable margin thereby bringing about economic stability. The integration of the foreign culture into the communities in the country has also to a larger extent contributed to the social interaction as well as an exposure to a diverse culture (Noll, 82). This has, to a good extent enabled and allowed for the learning and appreciation of different cultures hence promoting social stability in the society as a whole.
However, the Undocumented immigrants have also brought about a number of challenges with them. Marx looked at and critically analyzed the concerns that existed between the working lower class and the higher class owners of the production systems (Noll, 82). This is a true indication of the current issues and concerns surrounding the debate currently being experienced in the United States. The dysfunction of the Undocumented immigrants is Often as a result of strain due to structural formation which does not occur on all cases. Structural functionalists brings to our attention that, in some cases social systems fail to operate as is expected of them, and therefore would identify the dysfunctions of a given system as a means of advancing its efficiency. The dysfunction of the Undocumented immigrants could find application in various fields such as education where it looks at education as ensuring the rapid growth of the society.
Educational institutions equip the most qualified people for the generally ideally regarded important jobs (Babbie, 133). Education enables people not only to have the information but thinking skills to boost their abilities, that helps them to be good citizens and, cope with other people in the society. The other one is Crime. Structural Functionalists considers crime as a part and parcel of the society. By means of public outrage and punishment through judicial system, a large number of people in a particular social system appreciates, agrees with, and stick to common set of acceptable norms in the society, rules and regulations. The absence of crime would imply the lack of legal system in our society. However, if the crime increases rapidly, citizens would lose trust and togetherness. The opposite suggests that, people are either living under an authoritarian ruler ship or there are no common moral structures.
The conflict paradigm is a theory that looks at the society as a holistic integral system that could be viewed in terms of inequality and conflict which brings about social dynamics and change. W.E.B Du Bois who developed this paradigm, tend to alienate individuals to allow togetherness and avoid discrimination (Geyer, 89). The theory in question can be said to be Social conflict. It experienced worldwide gain in games, politics, business as well as social and cultural interactions. The social conflict theory could be explained as favoritism or the tendency of a particular social system to show favoritism to the well to do and popular individuals in a given society. Social inequality is evident worldwide from situations of race, negative ethnicity, gender, class and age.
These could bring about parity in wealth, education. According to Marx the conflict paradigm theory comes about as a result of conflicting interests occurring between the ruler ship class, who entirely dominate the control of judicial and, political systems as well as the economics set up and their subjects who are the oppressed (Andersen, 72). Conflict theory explores the following assumptions; that the society is generally made up of two groups of people in other words two classes. The two groups are both struggling and competing for the limited resources. One group, the is the high class group is made up of the prestigious, elite, wealthy individuals as well as popular politicians who are oppressive to the other group which, is made up of the disadvantaged in the society. These include the poor, illiterate as well as the marginalized in the society.
The undocumented immigrants create or reflect conflicts in our society in the following ways; one is the social conflict where they, the undocumented immigrants, tend to view themselves as the marginalized and despised members of the society. This not always the case as Max Weber believes human being should be given rationalism.The classes the society are creating may be due to circumstances they are in ,but does not mean they are necessary well (Noll, 128). Therefore, in retaliation and in their pursuit for recognition they end up in various social conflicts with the other members of the society who are not undocumented immigrants. Secondly, since the so called undocumented immigrants are really not of the origin of our nation they find it very difficult to struggle as well as to compete for the limited and scarce resources (Noll, 87).
This is because most of their effort time and resources is initially used up in establishing themselves as opposed to the citizens who are already established and are far much ahead of them in so many areas. This does not provide a level playing ground for them which again results in social conflicts in our society. Harriet Martinean a feminist who calls for social inequality. It power is left to dominate, it causes conflicts which at long last affects a common person Another thing is that these undocumented immigrants as they migrate and cross the borders into our nation, they carry and bring with them some cultures and, behaviors which are really not compatible at all with our own cultures. This incompatibility and conflicting of cultures more often than not brings about social conflict to our society.
Furthermore, the undocumented immigrants also bring with them issues that create or reflects structures of inequality based on social class, gender, age, race as well as religion. These are issues which contribute a lot to inequality amongst the undocumented immigrants and in our society as a whole. Some of the undocumented immigrants strongly believe certain faith which, only serves to make or cause them exposed as well as being vulnerable to inequality and, discrimination from other members of the society. That is another cause of social conflict.
Symbolic Interaction Paradigm refers to a theoretical structure in the society that views the society as being made up or consisting of interrelating and, interacting individuals on daily basis as they go about their day to day affairs or daily activities (Stanley, 102). The conflict that emanates is a result lack of social interactions by other members of the society. The interactions are based on common shared symbols having common shared meanings as well which are known and understood by both the interacting parties. This paradigm assumes that views are of individual personal experience of the society and that views are not generalized to aid in the establishment of a broad sequence of events. Jane Adam who was sociologist It also assumes that human beings in their perceptions as well as actions look at and, consider things as having various meanings. Another assumption is that symbolic meanings are formed or brought into being as a result of social interaction and engagement between individuals (Stanley, 45). Finally, the Symbolic Interaction Paradigm also assumes that symbolic meanings are reconstructed through a process that involves interpretation and understanding.
The symbolic system of the undocumented immigrants that is religion, rituals etc. cultures, language structures and social interaction within and outside their sub cultures have been able to affect the lives of the undocumented immigrants by helping them to discover a sense of belonging to their originality (Scheff, 142). They have also been able to discover their potentials in line with accepting their values and cultures. George Herbert dismisses the associate of individualism and, reckons in the use of symbols in the society They have also been able to appreciate and accept the wider diversity in cultures and values in various cultures and as well as religions belonging to other members of the community in which they find themselves (Geyer, 98). However, negative stereotyping and stigma relating to the issue of undocumented immigrants as “illegal” has had an adverse effect on their sense of self. As a result of negative stereotyping and stigma, most of them have been denied a sense of belonging. This has gone a long way in negatively impacting on their already strained efforts to come to terms with the reality of challenges facing them.
In conclusion, the undocumented immigrants could be viewed as a source of new for the meaning of the Americans, in that they integrate their new symbols with those of the Americans. This makes the Americans to see a totally different symbol from what they are conventionally used to seeing or, experiencing and even as the Americans are being looked at by the rest of the world as being flexible enough to incorporate and integrate different foreign culture of symbolism in to their system. One of the American dreams has always been to completely eradicate and root away racism, negative ethnicity, gender inequality as well as integration of various religions into its system without discriminating against any one. But the integration and inclusion of symbolic cultures of the undocumented immigrants into their system, has to a larger extent aided in creation and realization of new symbols for the American dream.
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