Our Social Issues: Applying Functionalist Theory to Sexual Harassment in Brevard
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83% of women in 41% of men experience some form of sexual harassment in the workplace. First sexual harassment is unwanted physical or even remarks that are unwanted, in a sexual manner. This could be an offer of sexual gesture, an offer of you give me this (sexually), I will give you something in return. And of course, any remarks that may be about a person’s, body, and sexual in nature. The issue of sexual harassment can cause emotional, physical, financial, and affect the economy on a global scale as well. Although sexual harassment can cause the above issues, a major concern is not just the number of men and women who experience some form of sexual harassment but how it is also was something that was not reported but has now become more prominent.
Not only will we discuss the overall effects of sexual harassment in the workplace but also here in Brevard County. discussed their experience and the effect sexual harassment has had on them. We will also look at how this issue has started about. Why reporting it is more common, and why even Brevard County and local businesses has made an important by implementing anti retaliation laws.
With all the laws, lawyers, and HR policies, and consequences about the issue you would think that sexual harassment would. Not be a big issue still. Florida today has an article about Andy Ziegler who resigned with a 55,000 settlement after his case against him of sexual harassment. He has worked for the school board for about 10 years and is just now being reported this year. The report was originally made last year, and when the woman initially reported there was some retaliation reported as well against her according to Florida Today.
Than we have all well know teacher student sexual harassment issues, but what about the student to student harassment. First there has been reports of teachers in Brevard county that have had inappropriate relationships with students. One case in Titusville and another here at Palm Bay high school. And the relationship is not always touching teachers may simply say something that is inappropriate. Students who have stated unwanted comments to other students about their physical appearance in a sexual manner. Then there is the trend of what kids call “pantsing” someone and pulling someone pants down, or classic touching someone and it is not wanted.
There are laws about this issue. Training at every workplace about the issues, HR and anonymous tip hotline, and even Brevard county schools has their own policies about the sexual harassment issues. The overall issues may be not in just implementing laws or policies that deal with the issue after the fact. But what about more preventative methods, or the fact many of the issues goes with witnesses.
Our view is functionalist theory whose main influencers are Emile Durkheim, Robert Merton, Talcott Parsons, and Herbert Spencer. Functionalists theorist views society as parts that work together to maintain a balance in society. The parts are like gears of a clock. One turns than everything else follows and works. So, society is the clock as a whole, and the gears that make the clock work, is the same way that parts work together that make up the structure of society. Those parts also make society work together well. In order to achieve social order society has to have shared beliefs and values.
Functionalist see social order as something that keeps society at bay and keeps stability. All the connected parts like institution such as schools, and banks benefit society. We also have social facts like laws, religion, birth rates etc. (Khan Academy) Functionalist look at institutions rather than the individual. There is not a lot of regard of how an individual will affect society. The individual will only notice when there is a consequence to the individual for breaking a law or going against any of the structures. The main component that functionalist is looking is how society goes back to equilibrium. Equilibrium being the social order. So, societies structures like laws, mass media, and the social facts may adapt to restore the order of things. When something in society affects the structures or gears to keep society going structures will change to make sure very things goes back to stability and interdependence. Values have to align for laws to be made.
These values start to become social stigmas and norms and have some sort of control ver how society behaves. A functionalist, will say this affect turns into a social fact regardless of any individual existence this social norms will exists, which makes it a social fact. All the structures need to work together for this to happen. Durheim constructed the major concepts in this theory. Social norms, social facts, values, and structures. Theorists look at what holds a society together. Although societies are evolving and changing, Khan Academy uses the example of people being all farmers. When population has grown farmers do not have time to do other things, so structures are created to fill these needs by establish new institutions. Like schools, banks, and other services. Structures adapt to find stability. Understanding the working of society by examine these functions of how these structures and how these affect society in a large scale versus individually.
Sexual harassment increased as women started to enter the workplace. As well as more open sexual orientation, gender roles being more prominent. Men have also had an increase in sexual harassment cases. Laws, policies, and even lawyers who specialize in sexual harassment cases are part of the institutions to help restore the balance in workplace, schools, and social settings to prevent the interruption of social issues. Functionalist would say say that the issue was once a norm, but since more structures, values, policies have changed this norm. Theorist would say that some of the root causes are changes and evolution in societal structures If one ear changes all gears need to adapt as well. The first structure change would be women entering the workplace. The second root cause and change would be women rights movement. Feminism as well men and women being seen as equal rather than inferior. As these changes occur sexual harassment was introduced.
As sexual harassment has gotten out of control it has caused society’s rates to go up with these social facts. Mental health and stress studies show that when people are in hostile work environments or even in schools, their stress will go. People become disruptions, institutions and workplaces are less productive. More missed days at work, more turn a round, meaning more training, more money less productive institutions. When institutions are less productive society is less productive and there no equilibrium according to functionalist. Economy is a factor to society working together. Sexual harassment causes society’s economies of institutions to flourish less unless you are a lawyer. But the intuitions involved have to spend so much money on legal fees, 21st Century fox had a settlement of 20 million dollars for sexual harassment cost. Now that intuitions have more consequences there are less likely to allow it to continue to occur and try to implement more preventive methods. Mass media, social media, and technology is a structure that shapes and works with society.
These three has cause sexual harassment issue to be spoken about more. Causing movements like the me-too movement where on Facebook. Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and many more men have been accused of sexual harassment, and as powerful women like Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow come out and speak against mass media covers this. So, although the individuals are not the focus for factionalist mass media is. Mass media affects the rest of society who follow foot and come out against institutions by suing or reporting Hotline are a structure in society used so people can report, but with mass media showing powerful women coming out with no same but in a powerful manner other women and children in schools have come out. Taking power away from an issue that negatively impacts society and takes away from social order.
So, society is attempting to find balance and restore commonwealth. Netflix will refuse any shows that have controversy with directors that have been seen with sexual harassment. Employers and schools tolerate it much more as it has become so public. Even in Brevard out local newspaper, and new stations cover stories such at Andy Ziegler, teachers harassing students. Students harassing other students. Also, the bigger stories of the famous and local women coming out cause more women and now even men to come out. Although women reports have decreased due to more and more social awareness of the issue. Men’s have increased because end are starting to report the issue more as well. Which shows as a whole it is something that is less shameful to report and taken more seriously so everyone is more comfortable. Women harassment has decreased trains videos state calling women honey, babe, or inappropriate conversation should be looked.
Both of us as employees have received some type of trains multiple times. A year about equal harassment into the replaces. This means society is protecting the production by protecting the employees. Laws have also made it important to protect company assets and to make companies pay attention to the issue at hand again an issue that got out of hand that laws, have been put in place to restore social order. Andy Ziegler tried to retaliate according to Florida today against the woman and any bystanders while the issue was going on. This only made things worse for home because laws function to keep things like this form disrupting what is trying to be restored, and he need up still having to resign, and other consequences. Locally the school system had to cough up 55,000 dollars into the issue with Ziegler. In school teacher to student and student to student sexua harassment has become an issue. But a functionalist would see the structure of laws, and lawyers and diruptions in society from teh recnt Andy Ziegler case has caus brevard county schools to beef up the polices, training on proper and appropriate behavior, so that issue is prevented. (Florida Today)
Functionalists view on crime is that it is needed for social change and is good for society. This being said sexual harassment would promote the society coming together in stopping that crime. Doing so this also sets societal boundaries that are needed to maintain stability. If the structures are not adjusting to an issue, it means it is not disrupting society enough to where there needs to be balanced restored. Functionalists also would believe that if sexual harassment became an unsolvable issue that society would crumble because they lack the ability to adapt and create that boundary. This idea of society crumbling in such a manner is called anomie by Durkheim. That being said interdependence and stability would be lost. Functionalist would view this issue as one that is naturally being taken care of already. Laws, policies, mass media, are all the structures that have adjusted to a issue that has caused social disorder.