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Conflict Theory N.C

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Natalie Cheung

on 6 December 2012

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Transcript of Conflict Theory N.C

Conflict Theory Conflict theory originated in the 19th C from the works of Karl Marx (1818-1883) who believed society was distinguished into two groups, a ruling class and a subject class whom of which were competing for social and economic resources. Domination played a key fundamental in maintaining social order in which those with power had the best resources exploiting the subject class. Hence conflict would occur between the two classes. The theory’s basic question is ‘Who gets what and why?’. Theory’s embarks the idea that inequality exists because those in control of a disproportionate share of society’s resources actively defend their advantages with emphasis on social control rather than conformity. Examples of conflict theory The Russian Revolution The Cuban Revolution The French Revolution Egypt Uprising/Revolution These are examples of which conflict theory can be applied to as the unease of the less dominant and powerful group rise and cause a dramatic change to the system- usually involving violence Evolution of the Theory
- Conflict Theory in 'groups' rather than an individual struggle
- Focus on explaining the mechanisms of social change
-Distribution of power equals conflict
Subordinates have authority than conflict can be avoided Max Weber (1864-1920) Georg Simmel (1859-1918) - Wanted to develop a mathematics of society

- Within each group there are different opinions and powers

-Disagreed with Marxist's view on social classes being 'horizontal' - Social action always involved harmony and conflict, love and hatred

-Secrets are held especially by those inpower Lewis Coser (1913-2003) -Defined conflict as a struggle over values and claims to scarce status, power and resources in which the aims of the opponents are to neutralize, injure, or eliminate their rivals.” - Conflict between groups is part of social life
-Conflict does not mean instability within a relationship
1. Lead social change
2. Innovation
3.War threat= increase of central power Ralf Dahrendorf (1929- ) -Social order is maintained by force form the top
-There is constant tension
- Conflict may temporarily disappear once reached. - Power is centered by work
- Power can be independent form economic class
- There is a triangle of power: 1. Military
2. Industry
3. Politics C. Wright Mills (1916-1962) The theory of conflict has evolved over time as new social , eocnomical and political factors are introduced within differernt times. The new theories are more encompassing as they are developed form the basis of an older theory and have more interaction and commonality with the issues of contemporary society. PROS CONS VS - Theory seeks the moral ends- emancipation of humanity from false accusations of 'universality' (Where one group takes power and seemingly represents 'freedom for all')

- Theory can be applied to explain social changes in power
e.g. Egypt revolution
- Presumption that benefits only apply to the 'ruling; class/group
- Presumption that working class does not realize their subordination
- No clear individual affect explanation
- Deterministic
-Cannot be applied to every situation
e.g. Are there any incidents within Australia where conflict theory can be directly applied to?
By Natalie Cheung
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