Conflict Theory And The Movie Glory Road

930 words - 4 pages

Society is based on two groups the people the haves and the have-nots. In the movie Glory Road, the Caucasians are the haves and the African-Americans are the have-nots. The beliefs of a conflict theorist are that there is competition for scarce resources, some form of inequality to maintain, and social change comes about because of the conflicts (Brinkerhoff 10-11).
Conflict theory starts by emphasizing that conflict within society is the normal way of life and that the changing aspects can be understood by identifying the sources of conflict and power. Conflict theory argues that society is thick with conflict and that society does not work within equality; inequalities are expected to exist such as the haves having more power than have-nots. The unequal scattering of resources creates a social arrangement or class structure, which designates social structure and influences the functioning of society. According to Steven Tepper, an Associate Professor of Sociology at Vanderbilt University, “Cultural conflict and moral regulation can serve to demarcate acceptable and unacceptable behavior, high- and low-status lifestyles, in- and outgroup membership, and reputable and disreputable values and beliefs” (Tepper 278).
Caucasian society of 1966 placed restrictions, limits, and expectations that were dependent on race. In the case of the movie Glory Road, African-Americans were not been allowed the achievement of equality in playing NCAA basketball or for that matter school basketball at any level. So, if society consists of inequality and conflict it can be concluded that with placed restrictions and limits on race there would be a power struggle to allow Caucasians to keep a perceived status of being the dominate race. This concept is reflected when a white reporter asks Coach Haskins “are you at all concerned whether the Negro can handle the pressure at the national level?”(Garnter). His statement assumed that because someone is a non-white they might be unable to persevere in the presence of tremendous pressure in the way that a white person can.
Furthermore, society is continually in conflict for limited resources, such as superiority or perceived power within the fight for scarce resources and these resources themselves are equivalent to power. These resources may include opportunities, material items, wealth, and/or even food. The social structure in 1966 in higher education and many groups within society reflects the competition for resources in their inherent inequalities; Caucasians have more resources that they can desperately attempt to use to maintain a position of power. An example of a resource in conflict theory is when a member of the alumni, Wade Richardson, comes to the President of Texas A&M, Dr. Ray, with concerns about having starting black players on the basketball team expressing how much money he donates to the college. Richardson states:
It’s not just about winning. The miners reflect on my...

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