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The paper analyses Martin Luther Full, Jr.

‘s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” from a sociological point of view and shows how 3 major theories (structural functionalism, social turmoil, and representational interactionism) are treated inside the letter. The paper reveals different understanding of King’s ideas and works by his contemporaries and modern persons. It also explores the principles of inch nonviolent immediate action” and “natural law” and can determine their importance in the detrimental rights motion. Keywords: Martin Luther Ruler, Jr., “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”, nonviolent immediate action, normal law, civil rights movement

Sociological Examination of Martin Luther King, Jr. is actually

Letter from a Birmingham Imprisonment

Martin Luther King Junior. ‘s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” is important by both traditional and sociological points of look at. It is an example of self-sacrifice for the idea of ​​equality and brotherhood of all people. Formally, Full addresses to eight pastors who go against sb/sth ? disobey the protests. In fact , he applies to everybody who does not approve racism, but looks at methods of nonviolent struggle to become too major.

By a sociological point of view, the “Letter via a Birmingham Jail” shows the way of nonviolent adjustment with the social discord and periods of this method: “collection with the facts to determine whether injustices exist; discussion; self-purification; and direct action” (Martin Luther King, Jr., 1963). In the Western world, he was the first to show the fact that fight will not necessarily mean violence.

Thus, it will be easy to say that King’s way of non-violent immediate action was decisive inside the civil rights movement. Sociologically, the “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” illuminates the thought of structural functionalism. It can be noticed that the structural system of contemporary society does not work well. People of African or mixed origin cannot enroll in the same schools, sit in the same parks, eat in the same restaurants, or benefit from the same drinking fountains as white wines. They are in different areas and attended distinct churches. If they need medical attention, they cannot go to the same clinic as white wines. When they expire, they are left in different cemeteries. Families of color are forced to deliver their children within a humiliating and insulting ambiance. The state and authorities, among social elements, support the racism. The clear illustrations were deceitful courts and cruel, inhuman actions from the police. Pledges to restore justice and balance the rights of light and colored residents do not mean anything at all. Church leadership prefers to stay aside the civil concerns.

Martin Luther King Junior. ‘s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” clearly implies that the chapel acts in a cowardly manner concerning the concern of racism, supporting the state law, but is not the moral one, which in turn claims that all men happen to be brothers. This sort of a system of world does not function properly since all of its elements are deformed. The deformation is usually caused by the pressure of state government bodies and insufficient justice, which has been caused by the social conflict. Birmingham is described as a spot, where the turmoil between the white-colored and coloured population was on the brink between the calm actions and open challenges. The durable conflict motivated the symbolic interactionism. This kind of theory implies that social conversation is based certainly not on the way humans sense their environment, although on the way they define the environment and each various other. In this situation, the shaded people determine the whites because oppressors and themselves as the oppressed ones. All this affects all their perception of the world and gives the feeling of inferiority. As a result, it can be realized that all three cultural theories will be intertwined. The elements of culture do not function in tranquility. As a result, the social conflict arises impacting on the perspective and symbolic perception of individuals.


Modern society supports King’s ideas and considers him to be a national hero. Yet , he generally found misunderstanding among his contemporaries: “King’s nonviolence played into the hands of segregationists” (Mott, 75, p. 411). Peace and brotherhood cannot be achieved through aggression, and so King hand picked the strategy of nonviolent immediate action. A heightened sense of injustice, sympathy to his friends, as well as even unknown people encouraged King to start non-violent direct actions. He recognized that ethnic injustice constantly goes hand in hand with financial one. It was of essential importance that King fought not only for the rights of folks of color, but also for the rights of all of the exploited persons. It shows his understanding and love for people. The letter by itself is created in an honest and nonaggressive manner.

Thus, it does not give up people coming from King, yet convinces of his honn�tet� and demands peace. Hostility and assault would simply lead to individual victims and, possibly, to another civil conflict. King’s tolerance managed to persuade many visitors to switch to his part. For example , Catholic bishop, Frederick Aloysius Durick, who started to be a staunch defender of civil legal rights, was encouraged by King’s “Letter via a Birmingham Jail” (Rychlak, 2011). Nonviolent direct action is not really the way of the cowards who also are afraid to fight, yet action that will need patience, durability and courage. A person should not post to any injustice. The struggle should be directed not to the violence, but for conviction. Although non-violent strategy is a struggle based on the outrage for injustice and violence, it will not fill the fighters with anger and hatred.

Due to consistent non-violent actions in the case opf intra-national disputes, there remains the guideline of legislation and man dignity is definitely protected. One more discussed idea in King’s “Letter from a Luton Jail” is definitely the concept of “natural law”. Get rid of Edwards (2008) and Ronald J. Rychlak (2011) dwelled their articles or blog posts on this idea. Actually, King did not invent this concept, but reminded about this in the times when civil regulations contradicted the primary natural legislation: all people are delivered equal. This can be a concept that many people appreciate and consent to. King does not encourage people to break what the law states, but functions against humiliating and segregation laws. Martin Luther Full, Jr. is actually “Letter via a Luton Jail” played out a determinant role in the civil rights movement. He showed how non-aggressive activities help to achieve peace and equality.

Beliefs and like for people helped him in the mission. His movement did not aim at mastering anyone else. California king wanted the liberation of yankee society and everything the population to participate in the self-liberation. His “Letter via a Luton Jail” proved that all the elements of contemporary society, such as friends and family, government, and religion, perform an important role in the creation of every personality and world as a whole. Only social group where civil laws are certainly not contrary to the attract wealth is able to stay in peace, change and develop.


Edwards, C. (2008). Martin Luther King and natural law. The intersection of

God and government. Fact and Effects. Retrieved coming from King, M. T., Jr. (1963). Letter from Birmingham Prison. The Ocean Monthly, 212 (2), 77-78. Retrieved via Mott, W. Capital t. (1975). The rhetoric of Martin Luther King, Jr.: Letter via Birmingham Jail. Phylon, 36(4), 411-421. Rychlak, R. L. (2011). Organic law by a Liverpool Jail. Inside Catholic. Retrieved from


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Category: Society,

Topic: Civil Rights, Luther King, Martin Luther, Martin Luther King,

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