Conflict Theory

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Tasha Easton
March 19, 2007
Essay #2
Soci 181

Conflict Theory

With the end of World War II three perspectives on sociological theories emerged-structural functionalism, conflict theory, and symbolic interactionism. These three theories reflected "national cultural and political trends" in Northern Americ (Garner, 307). Structural functionalism created an ideology that society consisted of shared values and a system of social cohesion. In contrast of the functionalist theory; conflict theorist repudiated the notion that society was relatively harmonious. In fact, conflict theory by no means viewed society as a system; rather it was depicted as dichotomous groups inhabiting unequal power and unequal life chances. The conflict theory argues that the unequal distribution of wealth, power, status, and opportunity is the center feature of our society.

The conflict theory was inspired by the works of the great historian, Karl Marx. Marx was the most influential socialist thinker from the 19th century. He was considered to be a great historian, philosopher, social scientist or revolutionary. Through Marx's works, such as The Power Elite, he proposes the theory of conflict within many aspects of society. One of these aspects are in our economy. The competitve nature in capitalism creates a gap between the haves and the have nots. People engage in conflict everyday to gain more power than others in society. Marx plays close attention to the conflicts between different social classes. As the industrial revolution moved forward in society, so did the widening gap between class structures. Karl Marx.. Marx was he saw conflicting interest of the owner class and the the great theorist and and political activist, has inspiried many social theories, including the conflict theory. Marx argues that our capitilist driven society is in constant coflict due to our competitve manner. Marx stresses the impotance of structures within our society, and the role they...
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