Conflict Theory Argumentative Essay

essay A+

Get Full Essay

Get access to this section to get all the help you need with your essay and educational goals.

Get Access

Peet Conflict theory originated with the work of Karl Marx In the mid 1800. Marx understood human society in terms of conflict between social classes, most notably the conflict in capitalist societies between the Bourgeois; those who owned the means. such as factories or farms, and the proletariat; those who did the work on the factories and on the farms. Even though there are now different versions of conflict theory that has been described, the most common version Is that the different social groups or classes have unequal power, though all of them are struggling for the ame limited resources.

Conflict Theorists assume that social behavior is best understood in terms of conflict or tension between the competing groups or classes. These groups are engaged in a continuous power struggle for control of much needed resources. Marxism Is the social theory that emphasizes on the on the notion that society is based on the unequal distribution of power and resources, and by a conflict of interests between the wealthy and the poor. The wealthy using their resources and roles of power to manipulate and maintain the social order.This Is est explained a pyramid structure, where the few elite dictate to the large masses of society. Laws and traditions are made or designed to support those In society that have been in power, or the groups that are recognized as superior.

Conflict theorists argue that all groups are born from conflict. For example, labor unions, which are developed to fight for the rights of workers, whereas trade organizations are developed to fight for the interests of the wealthy class, or business owners. This theory Is opposed to functionalism, where each of the groups plays a specific, role In society.In functionalism, the groups cooperate, and this benefits society whereas in conflict theory they are in competition with one another as they try to better themselves, their and their access to resources.

It is in the interests of those who have wealth to keep and extend what they own, whereas it is in the interests of those who have little or no wealth to try to improve what they have In life. Conflict Theory can also include society’s morality, and their definition of deviance. Anything that poses a challenge to the control of the elite Is more than likely going to be considered “deviant.The theory can be applied on several levels, for example the high level of government or a lower level like a church organization.

Karl Marx’s conflict theory argued that property is carried by the state, and this turns property struggles into political struggles between bourgeois and proletariats, or landlords and renters, and many other groups In society. ownership and wealth of a group determines the ability to propagate their views to others in society that are of a lower class or less fortunate group. The Bourgeois clearly have an advantage, as they are able to spread their political views more easily using their wealth.Marx believed that conflict begins because all things of value are a result of hard labor, and according to Marx, t He believed that this exploitation is what allowed the elite to dominate politically and to impose their ideas onto the workers of the world.

Max Weber refined Marx’s conflict theory; Weber stated that more than one conflict over property existed at any given moment in any given society. Marx’s theory of struggle was between owners and workers. Weber’s theory also included emotional aspects of conflict. Weber also said the power of religion was an important ally of the government, that it ransformed classes into status groups.

His theory suggests that it did the same to territorial communities for example ethnicity; which was crucial for efforts at domination. Weber’s conclusions on conflict theory are similar to those of Emile Durkheim and Sigmund Freud, that beyond emotions, some forms of social interaction create strong beliefs, comradeship and unification among members of groups. Conflict theory has also been used by feminists, they have used this theory to explain a women’s position in society. The Feminist conflict theorists argue that women have purposely been oppressed; this oppression is so that men will benefit rom wealth, positions of power, and status.These theorists believe that the competition over limited natural resources is what started the conflict and led men to delegate women to take charge of domestic issues and tasks. The perception of conflict theory by feminists is what led to the idea that men cannot be trusted to give power to women because this would be a conflict with their instinctive nature.

Conflict theory applied to society Conflict theory offers a useful lens with which to analyze society. One might use this theory to explain the enmity between rich and poor within any society.This enmity ould be expressed emotionally, verbally, or physically. Applying the theory to notable class conflicts is possible.

Events such as the “Battle in Seattle” over global trade or the French Revolution serve as two examples. Conflict theory can also be used to explain non-economic conflicts within a society. One might look at the divide between Protestants and Catholics as a battle over spiritual resources. On a less macro level, the competition between students in a classroom serves as a useful example as well. In such ways, conflict theory is usefully ambiguous in its application to innumerable phenomena.

Get instant access to
all materials

Become a Member
unlock