Civil Rights Movement for Sociologists, Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

By extension, this decision was expected to pave the way for a more equitable society.

The Civil Rights Act also served other equal-rights movements, such as the women's movement. This law gave women's rights activists in the 1970s legal standing to fight for equal pay and anti-sexual harassment policies. Furthermore, feminist theorists like Patricia Hill Collins pointed out black women faced dueling prejudices regarding their gender and race (Collins 2004). This integration of race and gender as interlocking systems of domination has had profound influences on the development of black feminist thought.

Feminists like Collins have drawn on the issues raised by the civil rights movement to articulate how women of color have different experiences and needs from their female counterparts.

The Civil Rights Movement also had important contributions to changes in the structure and role of the American family. In 1993, for example, the Family and Medical Leave Act was signed into law. This law had important implications regarding the changing nature of families, and how men and women balance work and family. It is no coincidence that the FMLA was passed during a time when there was much greater awareness of these issues.

While some employer concerns about abuse and less profitability may be valid, they do not take into account how the law more far-reaching impacts. New research in early childhood development has highlighted the vital role both parents play in the life of their child. A growing population of aging and elderly parents and a changing healthcare system has also placed more caregiving responsibilities to family members. The FMLA is thus a small step towards ensuring that employees and citizens can continue to serve their diverse roles effectively - both at home and at the workplace.

The effects of the Civil Rights Movement continue to be relevant today, especially in light of government policies regarding terrorism. As a reaction to the September 11 terrorist attacks, for example, then Attorney General John Ashcroft played a key role in expanding the role of the government. Ashcroft's high-profile actions include the secret detention of foreign nationals after the terrorist attacks and a ruling that allowed eavesdropping on the conversations between attorneys and clients in federal detention. However, civil rights groups have also expressed concern that such measures are unconstitutional.

Already, several civil liberties analysts have challenged the constitutionality of new policies that abridge due process and the sanctity of the attorney-client privilege. Others worry that the current climate will also curtail the FBI's ability to investigate alleged police brutality cases. Civil rights attorney R. Samuel Paz, for example, lamented how the FBI is abandoning its domestic responsibility to investigate acts of criminality by police departments (Stuntz 2002). His statements are representative of the sentiments of many civil rights groups.

Conclusion

Like other reform social movements, the Civil Rights Movement went through the various stages in the development of social movements. As a social movement, the vanguard of civil rights activists continues to evolve. Its legacies continue to effect social change in other social areas, such as women's rights, family, education and the government.

Works Cited

Collins, Patricia Hill. 2004. Black Sexual Politics: African-Americans, Gender, and the New Racism. New York: Routledge.

Newman, Mark. 2004. The Civil Rights Movement. Westport, CT: Praeger.

Patterson, James. 2002. Brown V. Board of Education: A Civil Rights Milestone and Its Troubled Legacy (Pivotal Moments in American History). New…

Sources Used in Document:

Works Cited

Collins, Patricia Hill. 2004. Black Sexual Politics: African-Americans, Gender, and the New Racism. New York: Routledge.

Newman, Mark. 2004. The Civil Rights Movement. Westport, CT: Praeger.

Patterson, James. 2002. Brown V. Board of Education: A Civil Rights Milestone and Its Troubled Legacy (Pivotal Moments in American History). New York: Oxford University Press

Stuntz, William J. 2002. "Local Policing After the Terror." The Yale Law Journal, 111 (8). June.

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