The Conflict Paradigm applies in this scenario as the institutions in place in New Orleans were for the protection of the wealthy while the poor were exploited. After the hurricane had passed, the pictures coming out of the city showed the plight of poor, mostly African American, and this further strengthened the Conflict Paradigm. When FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) started giving out help, it required that aid recipients register online or through an 800 number. Once again the social structure favored those with an internet or phone connection and those really needing the aid had no way to ask for it. In the months following the Hurricane, as New Orleans was being resettled, the rich and the wealthy were the first to return while the poor are still struggling and living as refugees all over the country. This, once again, only reinforces the conflict paradigm.
1b) According to the Functionalist Paradigm the “member of the society see the social structure as legitimate and therefore strive to maintain that social structure.” The Functionalist Paradigm sees the social structure as being stable and in equilibrium and its members striving to maintain the status quo. Post-Katrina was a time of rapid change in New Orleans. The social structure quickly moved to a balanced stable society and the various social institutions chipped in to help rebuild the city. However, once a certain level of stability had been achieved, i.e. once a certain number of citizens had returned and resumed their normal life, the stabilization process slowed down. This resulted in a new equilibrium being set in the post-Katrina New Orleans.