Social Conflict Theory Flashcards, test questions and answers
Discover flashcards, test exam answers, and assignments to help you learn more about Social Conflict Theory and other subjects. Don’t miss the chance to use them for more effective college education. Use our database of questions and answers on Social Conflict Theory and get quick solutions for your test.
What is Social Conflict Theory?
Social Conflict Theory is a macro-level perspective in sociology that views society as an arena of inequality that generates conflict and social change. It posits that society is divided by power in terms of class, gender, race, and other factors, and conflict arises when different groups compete for resources and power. This competition can lead to change within the social order, either through reform or revolution. The Social Conflict Theory was first articulated by Karl Marx in the 19th century, who suggested that class struggle was the engine of historical development. According to Marx’s theory of class struggle, societies are organized into classes based on their access to economic resources such as capital or land ownership. The bourgeoisie (the wealthy) have control over these resources while the proletariat (the working class) do not. As a result, there is a continuous struggle between these two classes over control of resources which leads to conflict and ultimately drives social change. The Social Conflict Theory has been applied to many areas including race relations, gender relations, labor relations and international relations. In terms of race relations for example it suggests minority groups are disadvantaged due to unequal access to resources compared with majority groups leading to tension between them which can result in forms of resistance such as protests or civil unrest.