Social Conflict Theory and Racial Profiling
Based on the social conflict theory it is evident that society is made up conflicts within and between groups, clash of values and interests, the tension between what is and what some groups feel ought to be, conflict between vested interests and strata groups. The conflicts are what make up the society because they generate new norms, institutions and stimulate economic and technological realms.
Racial profiling in our criminal justice system is a true depiction of the social conflict theory in the modern society. It is based on conflicts that make up our society. Racial profiling premised on biased policing leads to mistrust among communities with conflicting interests in the society. Biased policing creates tension in the society because of the conflict on what is done in the criminal justice system and what ought to be done. The subjection of minority groups to stops frisks, searches result in conflict among various groups with vested interests in the society, and actually these conflicts are the one that make the society to be what it is but not what it ought to be. The creation of conflicts by racial bias results to criminality in the society because the minorities see law enforcers as not doing what they ought to do.
On the contrary, different structures with various functions make up our society. This is evidenced from the structural functional perspective. The criminal justice system being part of the society performs its duties like searches, frisks and stops at random and this should not be construed to be racial profiling. The arrests frisks and searches do not target the minority but coincidentally many of those found in conflict with the law come from minority groups. Actors in the criminal justice system have the discretion to execute their duties without bias thus racial bias is just a coincidence that arise when carrying out their functions just as it is evident from the structural functional perspective of each structure in society have distinct functions.
The social conflict perspective best explains the condition. Different groups within the society have conflicting interests and roles thus they view differently actions of actors of criminal justice system as either racially biased or not racially biased.