Essay on Homosexuality in Our Society: Theoretical Perspective
According to the textbook the theoretical perspective on homosexuality is the interaction perspective. The reason I selected this perspective is because the interactionist person looks at the way people socialize with their peers and other people as well as family members. The majority of them look at the outside people, which are society members.
Homosexuality is a small community that is often times called the smallest minority group in the United States. On that account, the interactionist sociologists must look to see how the homosexuals are functioning in society and how society is treating them as well as accepting them. The society “norms” are saying that homosexuals are wrong and the “normal accepted” way is to be a heterosexual.
The reason I chose the interactionist perspective is because of two reasons. One is the labeling theory and the other one has to deal with the social construction of homosexuals. The labeling theory defines an explanation for certain kinds of social deviance. (William Kornblum, Joseph Julian, Social Problems: Tenth Edition). The Interactionist view on labeling is that they do not look at what homosexuals do but rather what society looks at what they do. In example, if I see two males walking down the street and holding hands, I can assume that they are homosexuals. Another example, is if I were to see a male acting feminine, I would assume that that he is a homosexual. The only way these assumptions would become true is only if society labeled these individuals accordingly to the way I do. In the past homosexuality has been regarded as a sin or as the effect of a mental illness. Now, society has become more tolerant in the social construction of homosexuals but many prejudices still occur. For example, the press, the military and editorial writers tend to avoid the view of homosexuals. The reason why I say this is because homosexuals want to go against the accepting society “norms”.
The conflict perspective deals with the “haves and the have nots”, those who have money and those who lack it. However, if you look at the homosexual population they are not poor, but instead are just like any other population group. There will be some people that are more well off then others. Though the point of view of the conflict perspective is that the “haves” were the one’s that made “gay” people “gay” because they weren’t hiring them and they stressed them out so much that they turned to be homosexuals. See how ridiculous that sounds, I mean, in my opinion, you can’t even become “gay” that way. The conflict perspective first wasn’t in the book and in my opinion, I think it can’t be because being a homosexual doesn’t deal with the “haves” and the “have nots”. It deals with how they interact with other members of their group as well as with society.
Nevertheless, the functionalist perspective, it there were one, would basically say homosexuals are mentally ill. It also says, they should be hospitalized and be put away because they are not acting the way society thinks they should. They are not following the “norms” of society, which say that opposites attract and people get together for two things “pleasure” and “reproduction”. When homosexuals get together it’s for pleasure.
In conclusion, I want to point out how the other two perspectives, could never work. The conflict perspective deals with the “haves” and the “have nots” and you can’t base homosexuality on that theory because rich people are just as gay as poor people. You can’t make that an issue. While the conflict perspective looks at the “haves” and the “have nots” the functionalist perspective looks at how homosexuality is wrong and that they are mentally ill because they do not function as heterosexual individuals but rather homosexually. Which is not true because to them we are wrong for liking the opposite sex. All three perspectives deal with how societies sees them but the functionalist actually tries to do something about it like labeling them as mentally ill and trying to get them in institutions. The interactions just want to know how they are living amongst the rest of society and how they are adapting to what societies has to offer to them in terms of jobs and socialization amongst the narrow-minded people they have created.
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