Sociology major Mendrick Banzuela outlined a new theory for society’s acceptance of immigrants, which pulls from parts of the theories of Karl Marx and Emile Durkheim, at the Celebration of Scholarship and Creativity on Wednesday, April 18. He shared his research and details of his new theory during the oral presentation portion of the day-long event.
The research was part of the Social Theory I class. Assistant Professor of Sociology Francisco Vivoni, Ph.D., was Banzuela’s faculty advisor.
“In recent events, the issue of immigration has been prevalent in this country,” Banzuela said. “There has been a rise in discrimination and exploitation of minority groups.”
He wanted to examine the contributions immigrants have made to and reasons they are excluded from American society for his project. Part of his focus was on immigrants who settled in industrialized Worcester.
“Creating this project allowed me to show the significance that these people have had in our country and specifically using Worcester as a model,” Banzuela said. “Looking at the history of the United States, these immigrants were the backbone of the country, and they still are. It is imperative to expose this.”
He took the “common ground” between Marx’s and Durkheim’s” theories and created his own “yin-yang” theory. This theory “finds flaws in both sociologists’ theories” as well as blends them together.
“There is no way to prove or disprove it since it is still a theory,” Banzuela said. However, his findings show “the importance of diversity seen in Worcester’s inclusive efforts,” which could become “a leading example for other communities.”
He also presented at the Massachusetts Undergraduate Research Conference in Amherst, Mass., in late April.