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People who live together in a frequently more or less organized group are collectively referred to as the society. People cannot ever survive in a community without social processes like conflict, cooperation, identity creation, and others. The social processes are brought about by people's need to engage with one another in some form. The interactionist theoretical perspective in sociology is one of the four and examines society through certain smaller-scale interactions between individuals or groups. The viewpoint examines how social interactions between people affect the neighborhood and how society, on the other side, affects the individuals (Rubington & Weinberg, 2015). Using the interactionist perspective, this paper, focusing on education as a way used to improve the society, will compare and contrast significant differences between Owen and David in the case study.
Owen and David are black high school seniors in public high schools who have moderately good grades, are both favorites to students and teachers, and also engage in extra curriculum activities in school. Being raised up by single mothers, both have financial struggles and have to find jobs to chip in school fees and other home bills. However, the differences between these two students come about as they attend to different schools.
David attends to a Black predominant school with fewer opportunities and fewer resources as compared to Owen. The society they both live in is highly fragmented causing differences in many social aspects like education system and tax structures, and the resultant effects are economic and racial segregations.
Owen, on the other hand, attends a predominantly white school with all the necessary resources that any student would need to perform well in their academics (SNHU COCE Assistive Technology, 2016).
The neighborhood around Owen’s school emphasizes and is devoted to individuality, thus hard to see social structures as they are treated as ordinary occurrences.
The school systems for both David and Owen are different in that one of them is working perfectly well while the other is gradually falling where students have to be forced to be where they are meant to be, and teachers have to be laid off due to a reduction in government funding. Being in rich and poor school districts, the two depict tremendous disparities regarding resources, and this creates internal tension affecting everyone differently.
David’s society has many challenges including unhealthy living conditions, limited resources due to joblessness, and this affects many student’s performances in school unless they have supportive families and mentors like David does. On the other side, Owen is in a resourceful society that avails sufficient funds making learning smooth and efficient, and this has contributed to high and always improving performance he depicts since joining the school.
When it comes to competition among the students, David’s school has less competition as students come to school with a lot in mind, hence majority focus on after class activities therefore poor performance (SNHU COCE Assistive Technology, 2016). Unlike Davis, Owen’s classmates are from stable families, thus fewer home related destructions leading to high competition. Initially, Owen’s grades were low, but academic competition from other students prompted him to work harder, therefore the high grades.
Education is profoundly affected by the different human interactions, hence the different results among students. As seen above, social processes and factors like resources, neighborhood, economic factors, racial and ethnic aspects as well as peer influence impact students either negatively or positively. As for David, though in poorly financed school, mentoring helped him stay focused while Owen succeeded by having enough resources and positive peer influence in his new school.
Rubington, E., & Weinberg, M. (2015). Deviance: The interactionist perspective. Routledge.
SNHU COCE Assistive Technology. (2016). Tale of Two Schools Race and Education on Long Island Part 11. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDg2DSXfGo0
SNHU COCE Assistive Technology. (2016). Tale of Two Schools Race and Education on Long Island Part 21. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQXrLB0OEfs
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