StudentShare solutions
Triangle menu

Conflict Theory - Essay Example

Not dowloaded yet

Extract of sample
Conflict Theory

As Collins (1974) writes, "the level of interpersonal interaction is all-inclusive; by the same token, it is highly abstract. To reduce its myriad complexities to causal order requires theory on another level of analysis. The most fruitful tradition of explanatory theory is the conflict tradition, running from Machiavelli and Hobbes to Marx and Weber" (Collins, 1974, p.56). It needs to be noted that conflict approach should be viewed in two interrelated context: the authors' contemporary settings as well as the modern stage of sociopolitical development (ibid).
Hobbes and Machiavelli were the first apologists of conflict theory, but their studies were directed rather to political dynamic enhancement than to certain social issues. Human behavior was explained in sense of their mercantile nature and materialistic interests (ibid; Coser, 1977), so the main precondition for conflict approach was the assumption that individuals struggle for commodities and defend their interests in most desperate way. Threat and violence breed nothing, but additional cruelty as well as the institutionalization and legalization of social and political intimidation (Aron, 1965). (Individuals' behavior is explained in terms of their self-interests in a material world of threat and violence. Furthermore, social order was founded primarily as coercion, organized by governments and aimed at oppressing certain social classes in favor of narrow circles. Machiavelli added into the study another component, which was an ideology, an artificial control method: in the realms of belief and devotion (associated with law or religion), and in the secret world of struggle over influence, virtues, concepts and mores do not precede interaction, but are introduced as socially created doctrine that serves the interests of certain factions.
Marx (1818-1883) was probably the main contributor to conflict perspective, as he concretized the earlier studies and Hobbes' scientific inquiries in order to add more specific factors determining the lines of division among clashing interests. Furthermore, the social scientist pointed to material and economic circumstances which activate particular interest manifestation. In addition, his theory of economic evolution became a sociological framework for several generations, since it precisely indicated the wheels that facilitated the achievement of political goals: market regulation, commodity and consumption culture creation and the low satisfaction of basic needs (in the majorities). Nevertheless, I would like to narrow my focus on Marx's sociological views, which could be explained as following.
First of all, "historically, particular forms of property (slavery, feudal landholding, capital) are upheld by the coercive power of the state; hence classes formed by property divisions (slaves and slave-owners, serfs and lords, capitalists and workers) are the opposing agents in the struggle for political power the underpinning of their means of livelihood" (Marx and Engels, 1930, p.48). Secondly, financial contributions establish the degree to which social groups are entitled to arrange their 'interest struggle', such mobilizing conditions constitute an array of interrelated variables between class and political influence.
Tertially, there are some other conditions, organization and functioning of mental production, which naturally resolve the conflict between interests, because intellectual potential is ...Show more


Social theories count enormous number, but few of them have survived the criticism periods and the ages of new formations. Conflict theory is probably one of those which have remained intact in spite of the fact that its perspectives are gradually becoming out of date…
Author : ywalker
Conflict Theory essay example
Read Text Preview
Save Your Time for More Important Things
Let us write or edit the essay on your topic
"Conflict Theory"
with a personal 20% discount.
Grab the best paper

Related Essays

Tax Bailouts and the Conflict Theory
The consequences are mostly a business downfall whereby the value of the companies share or the government bonds loose value. Most bailouts take the form of mortgages, stocks, or cash. However, some of these bailouts may require reimbursements. The culture of bailouts have traditionally occurred in the business sector mostly in large businesses such as industries and factories who produce goods in large quantities or large services businesses such as the insurance industry.
5 pages (1250 words) Essay
Conflict: Theory & Practice
There are a number of factors, from which conflict in the workplace may emanate including perception of people in the workplace over a number of areas as resource utilization (CDR Associates, 2007). Conflicts entail a number of characteristics that are unique to them.
9 pages (2250 words) Essay
Conflict theory and Education
The basis of this theory is the observation that; different social classes within a society have differing amounts of material and non-material resources, which allow the ones with access to resources to exploit those ones without the access. The theory was developed by Karl Marx in the mid-1800s, through observing the conflict between the capitalist societies; those who owned the factors of production had the powers to manipulate and exploit those who did not have access to such resources (Marx, 1971).
9 pages (2250 words) Essay
The Structural-Functional Theory and the Socio-Conflict Theory of Culture
The presence of families and kin is a social structure that functions to guarantee child care and mutual support within groups. The presence of family and kin across societies is example of cultural regularity. Polynesians traditionally built their houses made out of grasses and plant materials in part because they were ready mark able and the climate did not require protection against harsh weather.
2 pages (500 words) Essay
Sociology conflict theory
We have seen many theories of society that will help explain to us why some people act this way or that way. These many theories try to explain why person is sad or mad or glad or a just a plain old dad.
6 pages (1500 words) Essay
Conflict theory report, sociology
However, even though the Bourgeoisie are controlling the Proletarians, they still depend on the Proletarians for normal and efficient functioning of society. Knowledge, like individuals is split into
4 pages (1000 words) Essay
Structural Functional Theory & Conflict Theory
Conflict theories intrinsically criticize the social system, pointing out the general contrast in ideologies. The two have different methods of explaining the stereotyping, deviance, and ethnocentrism of society.
1 pages (250 words) Essay
Why Divorce rates have went up in the prospective of Conflict Theory
A bizarre turn of events however was to change the whole scenario where divorce cases started rising gradually. By 1960, it was estimated that there were over 1.5 million marriages in the United States. This was countered by close to
1 pages (250 words) Essay
Criminology theory (explain how conflict theory accounts for criminal behavior) See instruction
(FSU)The criminal justice stronghold points at forcing norms of profound quality and great conduct made by the influential overall of public opinion. (FSU) Center is on differentiating the compelling from have nots who
6 pages (1500 words) Essay
A Conflict Theory Essay about the movie Harlan County USA
ation is hidden in the conflict between different groups of people with the contagion of dissatisfaction of the working class by the policy of its treatment as a draught power by the selfish employers. The peculiarities of the development of a conflict with its further solution
2 pages (500 words) Essay
Get a custom paper written
by a pro under your requirements!
Win a special DISCOUNT!
Put in your e-mail and click the button with your lucky finger
Your email
Comments (0)
Rate this paper:
Thank you! Your comment has been sent and will be posted after moderation