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The Rise of Police Brutality Preserves a Functionalist American Society.

September 27, 2015 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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( Emile Durkheim Functionalist Theory presents us the theory that the function of social structures is to promote social order and social stability within a society. After evaluating the social classes most affected by police brutality, I am convinced that functionalism in the American society is of no benefit for the people. It is apparent that functionalism in America preserves social institutions, including the education, health care, justice, religion and mass media, that are rooted in white power structures.

Author Francis Scott Key publicly stated that African American are “a distinct and inferior race of people, which all experience proves to be the greatest evil that afflicts a community.” In 1814, it was Key who wrote the Star Spangled Banner which boasts of “The land of the free and home of the brave”. As police brutality continues to rise in America, it is apparent that social class and race limits one’s policebrutality-2015ability to be free and brave on this land.

Social forces within our society help to maintain a state of chaos and confusion so that members of society turn a blind eye to events which are said to affect the ‘minority’. The social force within the walls of the church focuses solely on personal troubles and afflictions as a result of “sins” committed by an individual rather than looking at the factors affecting minorities such as poverty, unemployment, substance abuse and systemic racism. The social force of the media focuses their attention on how the brutalized individual broke social norms (accepted) whether in fashion, personal appearance, behavior or attitude. The manifest function of today’s media sets out to destroy the character of the brutalized so that other members of society sees the individual separate from themselves and continues to focus on attaining the American Dream rather than cause an upheaval for social justice.

It is the thought that the American Dream can be attained that ensures that the American society returns to a state of stability (control) after some upheaval has occurred. This was evident after 18 year old Michael Brown was fatally shot by an officer whose manifest function is to serve and protect. Citizens of Ferguson, MO immediately took to the streets to protest the shooting of an unarmed black teenager. In a city which has a 67% black population and a 95% white and distrusted police department, like many other cities throughout the U.S where police dysfunction includes bullying and brutalizing residents to uphold the values and morals of the tainted American system.

Functionalism is fulfilling its manifest function in America ensuring that the police social institution serves and protects the desires of the hegemonic (ruling class) over the needs of the people. Using my sociological imagination it is evident that while the upper class citizens of America have more valuable material possessions for the police to protect, the policeman are mainly seen in low income areas where residents are notorious for breaking the norms of society.

Staff Writer; Dina Tuff

Connect with Mystic Philosopher & Inner Fitness Coach Dina Tuff @

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One Response to “The Rise of Police Brutality Preserves a Functionalist American Society.”
  1. Marque Anthony says:

    If you want to stop police brutality, you need to get involved with the STAY ALIVE project. These are seminars and resource tools that teach our people their rights, how to handle a police encounter and your lawful options if you are a victim of police brutality.


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