Critical Analysis of the Conflict Theory Essay

Categories: ConflictSociety

There are three major theories: Structural Functionalism. Symbolic Interaction. and Conflict. These theories relate to the chief facets of life in a society: organized group rank. interaction. and struggle. Out of all three of these. struggle seems to be the most straight-forward. Every individual has experienced struggle in life. The chief focal point of this theory is how power constructions and power disparities impact people’s lives ( The Catholic University of America. 2008 ) . Conflict theory harmonizing to Crossman ( 2013 ) emphasizes the function of coercion and power in bring forthing societal order.

This is derived from the plants of Karl Marx. who saw society as fragmented into groups that compete for societal and economic resources.

Harmonizing to Walsh ( 2012 ) . Karl Marx ( 1818 – 1883 ) is the male parent of critical criminology ; he is besides associated with the thoughts of socialism and communism. “The nucleus of Marxism is the construct of category battle: Freeman and break one’s back. patrician and plebian. Godhead and helot. guildmaster and craftsman. in a word.

oppressor and oppressed. stood in changeless resistance to one another. The oppressors in Marx’s clip were the proprietors of the agencies of production ( the middle class ) . and the oppressed were the workers ( the labor ) . The middle class strives to maintain the cost of labour at a lower limit. but the labor strives to sell its labour at the highest possible monetary value. These opposing ends are the major beginning of struggle in a capitalist society. The middle class enjoys the upper manus because capitalist societies have big ground forcess of unemployed workers eager to procure work at any monetary value.

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therefore driving down the cost of labour. These economic and societal agreements – the material conditions of people’s lives – find what they will cognize. believe. and value. and how they will act. ” To sum this up. Marx referred to these groups as the have’s ( middle class ) . and the have not’s ( labor ) .

Conflict theory is in kernel a complex system with instability. which consequences in struggle that can go forth to societal alteration. It explains societal life through understanding societal procedures as the consequence of the changeless battle between groups. In society there are limited resources. such as power. wealth. instruction. and prestigiousness. as a consequence people compete for those resources for endurance and to better their place in society. As stated by McQueeney ( 2011 ) harmonizing to struggle theory. society is: “A battle for laterality among viing societal groups ( categories. genders. races. faiths. etc. ) . When struggle theoreticians look at society. they see the societal domination of subsidiary groups through the power. authorization. and coercion of dominant groups. In the struggle position. the most powerful members of dominant groups create the regulations for success and chance in society. frequently denying low-level groups such success and chances ; this ensures that the powerful continue to monopolise power. privilege. and authorization. You should observe that most conflict theoreticians oppose this kind of coercion and prefer a more equal societal order. Some support a complete socioeconomic revolution to socialism ( Marx ) . while others are more reformers. or possibly make non see all societal inequalities stemming from the capitalist system ( they believe we could work out racial. gender. and category inequality without turning to socialism ) .

However. many struggle theoreticians focus on capitalist economy as the beginning of societal inequalities. ” The primary cause of societal jobs is the development and subjugation of subsidiary groups by dominants. Conflict theoreticians by and large view subjugation and inequality as incorrect. whereas structural-functionalist may see it as necessary for the smooth running and integrating of society ( McQueeney. 2011 ) . As noted by the New World Encyclopedia ( 2013 ) . struggle theory efforts to rebut the functionalist attack. which considers that societies and organisations function so that each person and group plays a specific function. like variety meats in the organic structure. There are extremist basic premises ( society is everlastingly in struggle. which might explicate societal alteration ) . or moderate 1s ( usage and struggle are ever assorted ) . The kernel of struggle theory is best epitomized by the authoritative “pyramid structure” in which an elite dictates footings to the larger multitudes. All major societal constructions. Torahs. and traditions in the society are designed to back up those who have traditionally been in power. or the groups that are perceived to be superior in the society harmonizing to this theory ( New World Encyclopedia. 2013 ) .

Conflict theory presupposes the following harmonizing to Ritzer ( 2007 ) : struggle or battle between persons and groups who have opposing interesting or who are viing for scarce resources is the kernel of societal life ; competition and struggle occur over many types of resources in many scenes. but power and economic resources are the chief beginnings of struggle and competition ; struggle and battle typically result in some persons and groups ruling and commanding others. and forms of domination and subordination tend to be self-perpetuating ; rule societal groups have a disproportional influence on the allotment of resources and on the construction of society. Ritzer ( 2007 ) references that in struggle ; category battle is the most cardinal and underlies all other signifiers. Political. cultural. spiritual. and ideological struggles non merely attest the prevailing signifier of category struggle and the nature of the dominant category. but besides in kernel would non be at all were category struggle to be eradicated. As stated by Mooney. Knox. & A ; Schacht. ( 2007 ) . the struggle position explains assorted facets of our societal universe by looking at which groups have power and benefit from a peculiar societal agreement.

For illustration. feminist theory argues that we live in a patriarchal society – a hierarchal system of organisation controlled by work forces. Although there are many assortments of feminist theory. most would keep that feminism “demands that bing economic. political. and societal constructions be change” ( Mooney et Al. . 2007 ) . The Russian Revolution of 1917 can be seen as an result of the struggle theory. This even illustrates the major radical power of the rise of one societal group against another. As indicated by the New World Encyclopedia ( 2013 ) . the struggle theory can be applied on both the macro degree ( like the United States authorities or Soviet Russia. historically ) or the micro degree ( a church organisation or school nine ) . Conflict theory seeks to catalog the ways in which those in power seek to remain in power. Conflict can originate in different countries: jurisprudence. faith. instruction. or media. and can be found in the powerful protecting their monopoly. or the powerless trying to alter the position quo. There are some pattern applications harmonizing to The Catholic University of America ( 2008 ) that the struggle theory could be used: it informs policy and may steer to a macro-level pattern ; it could be utile in explicating appraisals affecting subjugation and client exposure ; and could heighten apprehension of struggle between individuals. thoughts. groups. categories. and larger societal constructions.

Practice intercessions could be listening for grounds of subjugation within persons. groups. and communities ; paying attending to the function of struggle taking to client exposure ; forming to change power relationships ; and acknowledging that dominant and low-level groups compete for resources ( The Catholic University of America. 2008 ) . When it comes to conflict the premise is that if you have interaction. so you automatically have struggle. There is no human society that could be without possessing struggles of involvement ; struggle is normal and necessary for growing and societal alteration. In understanding struggle theory. the New World Encyclopedia ( 2013 ) states that competition between societal categories plays a cardinal portion. The following are four primary premises of modern struggle theory: foremost. competition over scarce resources ( money. leisure. sexual spouses. and so on ) is at the bosom of all societal relationships. Competition instead than consensus is characteristic of human relationships. If everyone could acquire what they wanted. so there would non be any struggle. Second. inequalities in power and wages are built into all societal constructions. Persons and groups that benefit from any peculiar construction strive to see it maintained.

Third. alteration occurs as a consequence of struggle between societal class’s viing involvements instead than through version. It is frequently disconnected and radical instead than evolutionary. Last. even war is a unifier of the societies involved. every bit good as war may put an terminal to whole societies. There are many premises sing the struggle theory. In drumhead. struggle theory is the development of the lower category by the wealthy. the unjust relationship between the worker/renter and the landlord/boss. and the thought that money will ever convey about struggle. It is an interesting manner to look at the universe. Conflict theory may look straightforward. but it isn’t ever so cut and dry. In order to understand society. this Marxist theory must be considered without burying about other signifiers of struggle theory. Harmonizing to The Catholic University of America. 2008. the struggle theory gives us some human behavior constructs such as: all societies perpetuate some signifiers of subjugation and unfairness and structural unfairness ; power is unevenly divided and some groups dominate others ; societal order is based on use and control by dominate groups ; societal alteration is driven by struggle. with periods of alteration disrupting periods of stableness ; and life is characterized by struggle non consensus. Conflict is an endemic ; the end is to pull off struggle so it does non intensify to detrimental degrees.

The Catholic University of America ( 2008. August ) . Overview of theories of human behaviour and the societal environment. Retrieved July 25. 2013. from hypertext transfer protocol: //ncsss. cua. edu/res/docs/field/theories. pdf Crossman. A. ( 2013 ) . Conflict Theory. Retrieved July 24. 2013. from hypertext transfer protocol: //sociology. about. com/od/Sociological-Theory/a/Conflict-Theory. htm McQueeney. K. ( 2011 ) . Conflict Theory. Retrieved from

World Wide Web. unc. edu/~kbm/SOCI10Spring2004/Conflict_Theory. doc?
Mooney. L. A. . Knox. D. . & A ; Schacht. C. ( 2007 ) . Understanding societal jobs ( 5th ed. ) . Belmont. Calcium: Thomson Wadsworth.
New World Encyclopedia ( 2013. June 13 ) . Conflict theory. Retrieved July 25. 2013. from hypertext transfer protocol: //www. newworldencyclopedia. org/entry/Conflict_theory
Ritzer. G. ( 2007 ) . Conflict Theory. In The Blackwell encyclopaedia of sociology ( Vol. 2. pp. 662 – 665 ) . Malden. Ma: Blackwell Pub.
Walsh. A. ( 2012 ) . Critical theories: Marxist. struggle. and feminist. In Criminology: The necessities ( pp. 93-110 ) . Los Angeles. CA: Sage Publications.

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