Sample Paper on Critical Theory and Racism

There has been increased interest in what causes racial and ethnic stereotyping. This essay applies critical theory to explain cause and harms of discrimination using articles by Martinez, Beltrán and Gartman.Critical theory in sociology criticizes existing sociology theories that explore racial and ethnic discrimination. For example, Garzian criticizes the functionalist theory that stipulates that pop culture is created by voluntary acceptance, by providing proof of how dominance plays a role in promoting the popularity of these cultures. The media influences how groups of people act towards others with different racial and ethnic background (Garzian, 2011).

Several researchers have contributed to this area by sharing their research findings that targeted specific classes of people in the society. For example, Martinez researched on popular gangster rap music of the 1980s and 1980s and claimed that the violence in the lyrics were indicative of resistance caused by racial prejudice (Martinez, 1997).

Stereotyping not only harms the victim of the act but also organizations and the society as a whole just as Gartman puts it. For example, racism denies a certain group of people some of the rights and opportunities that they are entitled to in areas such as education, employment and public service. This leads to the minority resulting in racial violence as their act of resistance for the discrimination (Gartman, 2012).

The Hollywood movie industry has several cases of discrimination while choosing the actors to take the major roles.Bertran’s article tries to pay attention at Hollywood actors of different races in an antagonistic way. He argues that by integrating actors from different ethnic and racial background the quality of the movie as well as its ratings improves. If all the races are well represented in a movie without discrimination the movie is most like to sale and improve harmony in the society. This is the point that Bertran article try to emphasis (Beltran 2005). A case in point is the success of the First and Furious movie that incorporates actors with different ethnic and racial backgrounds that appeal to a larger audience (Beltrán, 2005).



Beltrán, C. (2005). Introduction: Mixed race in Hollywood film and media culture. Mixed race Hollywood, 1-22.

Gartman, D. (2012). Culture as class symbolization or mass reification? A critique of Bourdieu’s distinction. American Journal of Sociology, 421-447.

Grazian, D. (2011). Mix It Up: Popular Culture, Mass. WW Norton & Company.

Martinez, T. A. (1997). Popular culture as oppositional culture: Rap as resistance. Sociological Perspectives, 40(2), 265-286.