Rogers vs. American Airlines
Cultural perspective considers law as reflection of social cultural beliefs; therefore, it would propose that Rogers should act according to commonly excepted social norms and change her hairstyle. However, conflict perspective sees law as a tool of oppression, and thinks law defends dominant class, American Airline, by coercing Rogers to change hairstyle and by imposing the ideas of suitable hairstyle onto employees. Comparing these two perspectives, prefer conflict perspective because ethnocentric judgment and circular reasoning can be found in the cultural perspectives.
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Cultural perspective indicates that law reflects cultural beliefs of a society by clarifying and institutionalizing shared customs and values. Although it does to always consist with customs or norms, law mostly grounded in the culture of a society, because law is rooted in how people see the world functions, what people perceive to be good or evil, what people consider to be standards of proper behaviors, and how people expect themselves and others behave in daily life.
Nevertheless, within a large, complex structured society, many subgroups actually have different beliefs and judgments upon certain behaviors; in this circumstance, law, according to Savaging theory, supposes to express common consciousness of people in this society. Hence, away needs to represent mainstream thoughts that are held by large part of population.
Moreover, Minimalists demonstrates that law is a body of binding obligations. When disagreements emerge from different cultural beliefs of subgroups within a society, law is necessary to clarify ambiguousness by illuminating which specific norms and customs have been institutionalized as legitimacy and, subsequently, enforce those legitimate customs by socializing individuals into share values.
Additionally, The critiques of cultural perspective arouse from the argument that law derives from norms and it is insistent with norms, pointing out that circular reasoning involves in cultural perspective, and, more importantly, the criterion for institutionalized customs may be ethnocentric or in favor of some particular subgroups (Beer, 9/2). The cultural perspective thinks that law should reflect customs and norms of a society and enforce legitimate norms.
Accordingly, as for Rogers case, cultural perspective would say that Rogers need to follow the shared values on appropriate business kick and law need to socialize Rogers into those shared values for three following reasons. First, the social customs expect hat people of certain professions, such as airport operations agents, maintain conservative and business-like images. Thus, to consist with customs, law should ask Rogers to change her characteristic hairstyle into a regular one to fit into expected business images.
Second, because Rorer’s duties involved extensive passenger contact, she was expected to perform the best to serve her consumers, which included pleasing passengers with an appropriate professional, neat look. Since most of people would not consider all-braised hairstyle as confessional and proper look, it is reasonable to quire Rogers to follow social custom and change into an appropriate hairstyle. Third, it is common consciousness that employees of corporate companies are expected to work towards the best interests of companies as long as the companies’ interests do not violate their civil rights.
American Airline hired and afforded Rorer’s living for purpose of enlarging its own revenues. And, as an employee of American Airline, Rogers was expected to work for benefiting her company. Thus, if American Airline thought that Rorer’s hairstyle had negative effect on its revenue and its policies did not latte Rogers civil rights as they were applied equally to employees of all races and genders, social Custom would suggest that Rogers should consider changing her hairstyle. Moreover, law is used to socialize individuals with disagreeable norms.
In Rogers case, according to cultural perspective, law needs to socialize Rogers by denoting her to fit in the common acceptable social norms. Overall, cultural perspective suggests law to demand Rogers to tone down a discovered identity and fit into the mainstream of social norms. Unlike cultural perspective that views law as reflection of agreeable social ultra beliefs, conflict perspective believes law is linked to struggle over cultural values and material wealth; hence, it views law as a tool of oppression, which promotes the interests of dominant social groups over the interests of subordinate groups.
Furthermore, society, by conflict perspectives, is not held together by consensus but by power; and the power comes from property and capital on which economic system and people’s survival depends. Besides, economic determinism and hegemony theory are two versions of conflict perspective. Economics determinism focuses on law s a repressive tool controlled by economically dominant class on purpose to maintain their economic power through coercion. Therefore, law is used to exploit and oppress subordinate groups.
Hegemony theory considers law as an ideological device, which provides hegemony, which impacts how people understand the world, for capital class to justify their power. Thus, law is used to impose beliefs onto subordinate groups. In a conclusion, all conflict theories commonly state that inequalities in distribution of valuable resound:sees in social system cause tensions between those with and those without resources. Then, conflict emerges from those tensions; and such conflict may be able to change social relations and Structure Of a social system (Beer, 9/9).
In the Rogers case, Rogers as an employee, whose living depended on her employer, was a member of subordinate group; and the American Airline as a capitalist class employer was the dominant group. Based on the key tenets of conflict perspective, conflict perspective would view Rogers case as conflict between dominant group, American Airline, and subordinate group, Renee Rogers; and the law, in this case, was used as a tool to support the power of American Airline to dominate over its employee, Rogers.
As for views from economic determinism, law helped ensure that the capitalist class can do what it thinks can enlarge its revenue, as it forced its employees to have a professional, neat looks in order to please its consumers and, eventually, to attain more revenues. In this case, law oppressed Rorer’s rights to control her appearance and freedom to express herself; and employer, as the ruling class, used law as a weapon to exploit Rogers for its own economic interests.
Moreover, as for the explanations from hegemony theory, law imposed the justification of American Airline’s policies onto Rogers and other employees who sought not to have uniform appearances, which defended the power of dominant class. In this case, law was an ideological device that serves to change Rorer’s understanding of how her hairstyle correlated to her performance on the job.
In short, the inequality and dominate-subordinate relation between American Airline and Rogers caused the conflict between them. And, law tends to resolve the conflict by oppressing Rogers. Comparing two perspectives above, conflict perspective is more convincing o me for following reasons. First, ethnocentric judgment about appropriate norms may be employed by cultural perspective. Different insights of social cultures exist among different racial groups, even though these groups are within the same society.
For instance, African Americans may consider that the all-braided “cornrow” hairstyle is neat, clean, and business-like hairstyle that is appropriate for Rorer’s position at American Airline. However, since African American is a minor ethnicity, its social norms and customs are rejected when they disagree with mainstream social norms and customs. Therefore, the appropriate hairstyle may be determined by ethnocentric judgment that disavows African American norms.