Plasticity of Contemporary Racism: Functionalist Orientation Anomalies and Emergence of Social Conflict Theory

Antonio Lopez


During the last century, sociological functionalism has been a sociological dominant interpretation. This trend has also developed within anthropology, biology, and the social sciences in general. Since the first evolutionary considerations, social interaction has been commonly interpreted from functional premises. In this way, racism as a social aversion has been seen as a consequence of the natural functioning of human societies. The present study contrasts the functionalist vision with the social conflict approach to evaluate each theoretical procedure. The research conclusions suggest that social conflict is capable of offering successful results on the nature of contemporary racism. However, there is currently a lack of research on the appropriateness of each of the approaches. The present work suggests to continue research of each orientation and particularly the use of social conflict as an analytical orientation.

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