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The Sociological Framework of Black Lives Matter

Over the years, many cases have been reported through the media of how young unarmed African American men have been subjected to police brutality, and the officers have always walked out scot-free without being held criminally responsible for their brutal actions (Anderson, Reinsmith-Jones, & Brooks Jr, 2016). Such phenomena have sparked social tension and have always been a topic of presidential election debates, and more importantly, it ignited the Black Lives Matter Movement. Moreover, during public outcries staged at peaceful protests, a lot of protesters have reported being either arrested or put down violently by the police force (Tillery, 2019). Such occurrences seem to be dissonantly similar to the political movements and social unrests of the 60s and 70s when the minority groups, as well as other dissenting groups, faced regular harassment and were subjected to great violence by both the police and other agencies of the government. Conflict theories have provided an overall structure that allows for additional insights into such events (Umamaheswar, 2020).

Conflict theories are applied to these recent police violence against young and unarmed minority males (Anderson, Reinsmith-Jones, & Brooks Jr, 2016). During the 60s and 70s, such theories were used in providing explanations and insights regarding clashes and protests between minority groups and other marginalized groups in the hands of government officials and agencies such as the FBI, CIA, and local police departments. According to conflict theory, authority and power are vital in the maintenance of social, economic, and political inequality (Anderson, Reinsmith-Jones, & Brooks Jr, 2016). Conflict theorists hold that equality does not exist and that under the law, all people cannot be treated fairly. They assert that both the law and the justice system are biased and tend to favor powerful groups. Hence, when people that are not part of the powerful groups take part in social protests, which are in fact, protected by both the First and the Fifth Amendments of the Constitution, they are violently disrupted by the governmental agencies and the local police force from exercising their protected rights (Clark, Dantzler, & Nickels, 2018). Because there is conflict in society, conflict theorists view the police, law, and other agents in the government as powerful weapons used to promote the interest of powerful groups at the expense of the powerless in society. As such, the use of excessive force by the local police leading to the deaths of some people, fails to be criminally prosecuted.

The offered suggestion is that the deceased’s family can file an illegal act alleging that their kin’s death was due to an unjustified action of an officer (Rickford, 2016). These suits are typically initiated by the plaintiff when a police officer kills a fleeing suspect, kills a suspect intended to be arrested and placed into custody, random gunfire by the police kills an innocent person, or any police negligence leading to a person’s death. To ensure that the plaintiff prevails in an unlawful action, the latter must prove that the death of their kin was not justified. When the jury fails to prosecute the guilty police officer, denying the plaintiff justice, they should resort to the civil justice system (Anderson, Reinsmith-Jones, & Brooks Jr, 2016). Suppose the local police force is held civilly liable and is ordered to compensate the plaintiff in monetary terms. In that case, police agencies countrywide will be more inclined to address the issue of police brutality instead of risking civil litigation.


Anderson, J. F., Reinsmith-Jones, K., & Brooks Jr, W. M. (2016). Black shootings, conflict theory, and policy implications. Int’l J. Soc. Sci. Stud.4, 10.

Clark, A. D., Dantzler, P. A., & Nickels, A. E. (2018). Black lives matter :(Re) Framing the next wave of black liberation. Research in social movements, conflicts and change42, 145À172.

Rickford, R. (2016, January). Black lives matter: Toward a modern practice of mass struggle. In New Labor Forum (Vol. 25, No. 1, pp. 34-42). Sage CA: Los Angeles, CA: SAGE Publications.

Tillery, A. B. (2019). What Kind of Movement is Black Lives Matter? The View from Twitter. Journal of Race, Ethnicity and Politics4(2), 297-323.

Umamaheswar, J. (2020). Policing and Racial (In) Justice in the Media: Newspaper Portrayals of the “Black Lives Matter” Movement. Civic Sociology, 12143.


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Module 1 – SLP
The Module 1 SLP consists of the following steps:

Step One

Choose a problem you would like to solve within society. This could be about environmental issues, human trafficking, etc. You will use this issue throughout the course and come back to it to look at the issue through a variety of sociological perspectives. Be sure to choose an issue that will allow you to look up peer reviewed sources (academic journals) so that you can review them for the benefit of looking at your issue. The reason for using academic journals is so that you can obtain the most unbiased information possible. This will be especially important for political issues, if you choose these. Political issues must have unbiased data associated with them in order to remove emotional connections. If you do not feel as though you can remove the emotional connection you have to an issue, it is most sincerely important to consider not writing about that issue.



VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: If you use ProQuest and you choose a specific article, you will see a small icon in the upper right area that says “Cite”. If you click on this, you will get the citation that will be ready for you to copy and paste into your “References” section of the paper.

Please offer a brief overview of what the article is that you are choosing for this assignment (approximately 1 page, paraphrased – around 400 words).

Step Two

Look at your social problem through the lens of one of these theories: Social Interactionism, Conflict Theory, or Social Functionalist. Develop the discussion strictly in the terms used within your chosen theory. For example, if you chose social interactionism, how have we developed meaning about this social problem from our social perspective? How would someone experiencing the problem develop meaning about the problem?

Step Three

What is the offered suggestion for improving this specific problem? How could it be possible to eliminate the problem, according to this specific article, from society? Also, do you feel this is reasonable? Why?

Submit your 2- to 3-page paper.

SLP Assignment Expectations
Cite your sources inside your work and in a reference section.

Use APA style, and proofread your paper.

You are expected to use SLP-related readings and background material to examine how demographic factors such as gender, race, ethnicity, religion, income, education, social status, and geographic factors (such as urban vs. rural) are used to describe populations.

In preparing your Module 1 SLP, you need to demonstrate that you have learned the concepts and outlined in the modular learning outcomes above.

Be sure to use section headings for each of the topics you address in your paper, followed by a discussion of that topic. I would like to talk about Sex trafficking or Black lives matter Justice in this paper!

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