Functionalism and Conflict Theory in Chanel Miller's Case

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 1416 |

Pages: 3|

8 min read

Published: Aug 31, 2023

Words: 1416|Pages: 3|8 min read

Published: Aug 31, 2023

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. The Issue of Sexual Violence
  3. Perspectives of Functionalism and Conflict Theory
  4. Application of Functionalism and Conflict Theory
  5. Conclusion
  6. Works Cited


The article 'Know My Name,' a Sexual Assault Survivor Tells the World' by Jennifer Weiner was found under The New York Times page. In this functionalism and conflict theory essay, Jennifer writes an article interviewing Chanel Miller, a twenty-year-old girl who had graduated college. Chanel recounts her experience of going to a party and becoming extremely drunk. After stepping outside to relieve herself, she began to black out. Miller later awakens in a hospital, only to discover that her underwear is missing. Subsequently, she witnesses news coverage of the 'Stanford athlete raping unconscious woman' and recognizes her rapist. The perpetrator, Brock Turner, was a Stanford swimmer. In response to her traumatic experience, Miller penned a narrative titled 'Know my name,' aimed at amplifying her voice and advocating for women who face sexual objectification.

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The Issue of Sexual Violence

In this article Chanel Miller wakes up drunk in the hospital with her underwear missing. She woke up with the realization that she had been raped. In the article she mentions “He stated that he kissed VICTIM while on the ground. He took off the VICTIM’s underwear and fingered her vagina. He also touched the VICTIM’s breast.” (Weiner 1). Rape is something that happens to so many women all over the world and many feel the need to be silenced. Women are being taken advantage of daily rather by being touched or pushed down to have sex with without consent. Many women feel embarrassed or scared to speak up. Men think it’s okay to look at women as sexual objects and feel the need to approach towards sexual violence such as rape. Men are constantly staring at women up and down; looking at them uncomfortably. Women have to go through this daily rather if it’s going to the store, parking lot, school, party or anywhere else they constantly feel uncomfortable. Miller got herself out a dark place and pulled herself back on her feet and wrote the story “Know my name.” She was done with being looked as an object.

Perspectives of Functionalism and Conflict Theory

In sociology there are many ways one can view a situation. There are three theoretical perspectives in sociology and which are Symbolic interactionist, Functionalism, and Conflict theory. Symbolic Interactionist is a one-to-one interaction or one-to-one communication. It is a micro level study which is where sociologists study all the levels and aspects of society (Openstax 1.1). Sociologist look at what rules are accepted in conversation towards different level groups due to their personal experiences. In symbolic interactionist people look for symbols and attached meaning towards them. Then people act towards those symbols due to how they had interpreted it. This perspective leads others to think about how they act to certain symbols which leads to taking control of their own and others actions.

Another theoretical perspective sociologist’s use is functionalism. Functionalism is “A theoretical approach that sees society as a structure with interrelated parts designed to meet the biological and social needs of individuals that make up society” (Openstax 2016). Functionalism is a way each society functions together to contribute something bigger. It is basically the relationship between society and aspects that are adaptive. In this perspective, it is applied as a macro level analysis which looks at shifts that are between societies and larger groups (Openstax). In functionalism, there are manifest and latent functions which are both dysfunctions. Manifest functions are the consequences of a social process that are wanted and expected such as going to church while latent functions Functionalists see it is a society being wrapped together so society member’s work together to accomplish what is best for the society they live in.

Conflict theory is the third perspective in sociology. Conflict theory is interpreted as society competing for power. They contribute towards stability and the negativity in society. Conflict theory also encourages change and social conflicts between any groups. They see it as unequal groups go and compete against others. Conflict theory is also a macro level analysis. They like to see the way’s inequalities contribute between the social differences and the perpetuate differences towards power. They compete for limited sources such as land, poverty, non-renewable sources and so on.

Application of Functionalism and Conflict Theory

Chanel Miller’s story can be viewed from many different perspectives. Symbolic interactionist perspective is one perspective to view this article. Her story can be a symbol to express that women are strong and do have a voice to be heard. Rape is symbolized as breaking a norm which is a bad thing to commit since it impact a way women sees herself which can lead to being signed as a sex offender and to go to probation. Another thing is she is symbolizing is our generation. Our generation is getting worse for women. Women can’t even go out in public without worrying what will happen. The men in this generation are more perverted and rarely respect women. Women can’t even go out to have fun since men are constantly checking them out and touching them. She mentions how men are growing up seeing women as property and thinking that having sex is okay. If people come together and see that rape is wrong then it can make a change and be taken more serious which can decrease the number of victims getting raped. Another way to view this article is through functionalism. This article can be viewed through functionalism since it’s calling out to society to adapt and work together against rape. The doctors working together to see what happened and how they can help she is an example. Women can come together to be stronger together towards rape and more supportive towards each other. Even though rape is a bad thing, the government has already set some rules and the consequences towards rape but if people decide not to listen then that is their choice. If Turner was more law‐abiding, then he wouldn’t have been going to jail for six months. Society must adapt together to prevent it from happening again until they have a new energy towards rape going on. Conflict theory is another way to view Millers story. They view how a Stanford athlete decided to rape a twenty three year old woman and still only got six month in county jail and probation just because it would impact on a one time chance to go to the Olympics if it were a longer sentence. He is getting more privileges since he is a rich athlete instead of getting more time in jail. Another thing they notice is what race she is. As stated in the article “You cannot note my whiteness without acknowledging I am equal parts Chinese.” She is standing up for her rights as a Chinese woman since they have identified her as white.

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In conclusion, Chanel Miller expresses how rape should be taken more serious by the help of Jennifer Weiner. Miller shares her story of being raped and standing up as victim. She tries to make a change by not staying quiet and standing up for the other women who have been silenced. Chanel Miller helps get her voice out by explaining her story, creating a story “Know my name”, and by explaining how women are viewed as sexual objects. She first mentions the time she got raped by Stanford athlete, Brock Turner and how they didn’t do much towards this case. Soon Miller expresses that women shouldn’t have to stay silenced by creating a story called “Know my name” to inspire women that their voice matters and shouldn’t fear of speaking up as a victim. She explains the story of what a woman has to go through being viewed as a sexual object which leads to the next conclusion. Chanel Miller talks about how women are constantly looked as sexual object and those males have grown up to see them as property to run on. Random guys are raping women they may not even know. She asks how do we ensure this does not happen again. How will the world change to prevent rape from happening? She is calling out for a change towards rape. Men should not think it is okay to have sex with anyone they want and force themselves on women who never gave them consent.  

Works Cited

  1. Fatany, Samar. 'The Status of Women in Saudi Arabia.' Arab News. 12 October 2004. Web. 19 February 2019.
  2. Openstax. 'Introduction to Sociology.' OpenStax CNX. Web. Retrieved from[email protected]:Y2MvM3zI@5/Introduction-to-Sociology.
  3. Weiner, Jennifer. 'Know My Name,' a Sexual Assault Survivor Tells the World.' The New York Times. Web.
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Dr. Oliver Johnson

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Functionalism and Conflict Theory in Chanel Miller’s Case. (2023, August 31). GradesFixer. Retrieved December 2, 2023, from
“Functionalism and Conflict Theory in Chanel Miller’s Case.” GradesFixer, 31 Aug. 2023,
Functionalism and Conflict Theory in Chanel Miller’s Case. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 2 Dec. 2023].
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