Bebe Moore Campbell’s You’re Blues Ain’t Like Mine

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In Bebe Moore Campbell’s, You’re Blues Ain’t Like Mine, I was able to view the novel from the three main sociological perspectives: the structural-functionalist approach, the social-conflict approach, and the symbolic-interaction approach. From the structural-functionalist point of view, I analyzed the Honorable Men of Hopewell as the power elite. I viewed Mamie Cox’s understanding of social class from the social-conflict perspective, and Doreen and Lily Cox differences were easily seen through the symbolic-interaction approach. By examining the characters and situations from these three important perspectives, I was able to have a better understanding of the novel and the life of the people in which the novel was based.

First, the structural-functionalist approach allowed me to better view the Honorable Men of Hopewell and their extensive power in the Delta. John J. Macionis defines this perspective as a framework for building theory that sees society as a complex system whose parts work together to promote solidarity and stability (Macionis: 11). The Honorable Men of Hopewell are in charge of making all of the important economic decisions. “We’re deciding the future of this great state, and that’s your future too, son (Campbell: 108).” This comment was said by Stonewall Pinochet, the leader of this powerful group of men. Stonewall was one of the wealthiest men in the state of Mississippi and had a major reputation to uphold. He was the leader of the legacy. The Honorable Men of Hopewell were not voted in but merely selected because of their great-grandfather’s prestige. “As was the custom, the mayor hadn’t been invited to the meeting but would be apprised at a later time of any public policy decisions stemming from it, if it was deemed politic to do so. Mayor Renfro was merely one in a series of figurehead politicians; the real power of the region was gathered in this smoke-filled room (Campbell: 108).” This quote from the novel is an example of just how powerful these men were.

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