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Conflict Theory

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Poomeca Sivanadian

on 24 September 2013

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Transcript of Conflict Theory

Conflict Theory
Conflict Theory
"An interdisciplinary sociological and political theory that looks at how societies are held together by power, not by individuals and groups needing and depending on each other." (Individuals and Families, 2010)
People's Roles and Relationships Within Society
Conflict theory discusses peoples roles and relationships within society in different ways. Depending on which group you're in, that will determine the amount of power, influence and control you have over the rest. The role you play if you have higher power is obviously much better than if you had little or no power. This can cause issues between one another and other groups. An example is the work-family conflict. This includes putting all your time and effort in your work place work and not devoting any of your time to those whom you refer to as your family. This might cause a conflict within the relationship in today's society because it makes the family feel less important. This is how peoples roles and relationships relate to society.
Applying Conflict Theory to Families
Applied in Families
  The conflict theory applies to families in many ways. Conflicts naturally occur within every household, without having disagreements its almost unrealistic to function properly. Common conflicts that occur in a household are:

-Lack of communication
-Personal differences
Main Contributors
The main contributors to the conflict theory are individuals and groups in society. These groups are divided based on their power to increase competition. The ideas they discuss are issues between groups that are competing for a necessities and/ or wants. So people who have more resources and power are the ones who are in control. For example, the rich and the poor. These groups are competing for money and because the rich are more wealthier, they have more power. All in all, individuals in society are the main contributors and the ideas they discuss are are needs and wants.
Macro level Theory
Conflict theory is a macro level theory and it is used for analyzing power and authority within the family. It examines inequalities and is used to criticize, not explain society.
Main Ideas
The main idea of conflict theory is that society is organized into groups to divide people according to their power, and to encourage competition. Conflict theory is used for analyzing power and authority within the family. This theory examines inequalities in society. Unlike other theories that are used to explain society, conflict theory is used to criticize society.
Families and Relationships
Conflict theory suggests that conflict is inevitable in couple relationships. In a diverse post-industrial society, dilemmas exist because of the social change that allows individuals to choose traditional or flexible roles.

These dilemmas are: individual versus collective interest, women's rights versus male entitlement, and "mine" versus "yours". At a personal level within a marriage, the common conflicts that exist are:
-Division of labour
-Expressive quality of the relationship (Dempsey, 2001)

This theory states that the actual balance of power in a relationship does not matter as much as the couple's shared perception is that they negotiate the solutions together.
What is Conflict Theory?
The Outsiders
  This scene is from the movie "The Outsiders." The movie is about two gangs; the upper-class and lower-class, trying to live in the same community. They continuously bump heads because the "Socs" (Upper-class) think they run the "Greasers," (Lower-class). In this particular scene we see them battling it out with each other. This is an example of conflict theory because the social classes are competing for power.
Applying Conflict Theory to Society
Viewing Society
Individuals' and Institutions' Roles Within Society
Positive Aspects
Critiquing Conflict Theory
Limitations and Weaknesses
  There are limitations and weaknesses within the conflict theory. It is based on separating individuals into groups according to their sociological and political powers. This can be a weakness because it ignores the issues that a group may have, which leads to inequality. When groups are in competition, fighting for power it eliminates others' needs. Another weakness in the theory is that if a corrupt group in society has more power than the rest, society won't function properly. For example, decades ago women had no say in society because the powering group which were males overruled what women had to say. These are limitations within the conflict theory.
Conflict theory views society as a struggle for dominance among competing social groups. For example- race, religion, class and gender. The theory suggests that conflict is inevitable in couple relationships. It argues that society is not best understood as a complex striving for equality but actually a competition.
Social structures and organizations such as government and religion reflect the competition for resources and use the resources for power in the society. Some examples are churches and the government. Institutions such as government and churches use resources to maintain their positions of power in society.
The positive aspect of our society is that one side is always better then the other. This would mean one side has power so you would like to be in the side with power. Since majority agree with the higher power, most will get what they want. There wouldn't be much issues because of this.
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