Conflict Theory

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Kate Shelton
Sociology 1101-4
August 30, 2012

An Analysis of the Correlation Between Socioeconomic Status and Obesity

Conflict theory is based entirely in power and how those in power do all they can to hold the majority of the population down and to keep them from gaining power, so as to secure their own position. Conflict theorists would say that obesity is a product of the living conditions, stress and poor quality of food and health education. Obesity is seen as deviant and problematic and therefore conflicts with the ideal society of being fit and thin. The more obese the less power and stature you have in society.

Conflict theorists might say that those that are in power, law makers, Fortune 500 CEO’s, for example, make cheaper good, make goods more unhealthy, and so the poor might only be able to afford cheap, unhealthy bulk food and become susceptible to obesity. Conflict theorists might say that food education might be controlled by larger government forces, for example the Food and Drug Administration and the United States Department of Agriculture. These are the members of society who look out for their own bottom line and corporate interests from sponsors and lobbyists. They might limit education about food intake and what is healthy and unhealthy, they might suggest certain foods like beef or milk is healthy to appeal to the dairy industry, to keep our politicians funded with billions of dollars in donations. There is also the argument that by keeping people obese it allows for discrimination at work, in which they must work harder at getting raises because they cannot keep up with their thinner counterparts. Obese people have difficulty with their social lives and early death and numerous health complications that might further ensure the status of the powerful few at the top of the food chain.

The Structural Functionalism theory argument is that obesity is a necessary part of society. Functionalist's major argument...
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