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Us Society Essay

1597 words - 6 pages

Societies possess intrinsic binding that is enforced through ideas that are evident within the society’s ideals. These bindings can be external such as through the criminal system. They can be internal, such as the education system or through families. They can also be semi-formal such as a psychiatrist demanding a patient seek medical treatment. Formal or informal mechanisms exist too. Informal implies unspoken societal mores and taboos that could lead to either elevation of status and respect or alienation. Formal mechanisms of social control are any actions taken by an agent in society, such as a police officer, to enforce laws and ensure that individuals follow the elite’s rule. Society expects an individual to show constraint or else they face the consequences such as shunning (informal control) or imprisonment (formal control). In societies such as the United States, these norms change rapidly given the degree of diversity found within such a large society. Norms are even different among different age groups and ethnicities. What may be acceptable in one culture is an insult in another. This diversity increases tensions and a myriad of contradictions exist. American society must cope with these tensions and this coping gives rise to the contradictions. The United States has long-held beliefs that it has utilized to form a generally cohesive society despite these contradictions. Common values, an informal social control, are crucial to American society functioning. The power in American society, as cliché as it may be, has generally been in the hands of white males. Like every aspect of American society, this is beginning to change. However there are still more Caucasian male power holders that make decisions about how society functions than any other population within American society. Given that these values are enforced within every institution such as education and legislation, individuals express common values either consciously or unconsciously in daily life and are taught from a young age to do so.

Public education is fraught with several problems: limited and disappearing funding, diminishing acceptable standardized testing results, and increasingly high standards despite an already floundering educational foundation that cannot cope with the globalized world. However, the US public education system is at least good at one of its purposes, which is that from an early age, teachers instruct students that the US is the best country for liberty, equality and freedom. The idea of the US being a tolerant society is debatable. At best, it is a society that tolerates the existence of several marginalized cultures within its borders because white males enforced patriarchal and euro-centric values. Nonetheless, liberty and equality are rightfully preached in schools and consequences for blatant intolerance of a marginalized group are harsh. Today, American society expects that someone keep any hint of racism to themselves. Political...

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