February 11, 2013
SOC 102 - 001
Conflict vs. Consensus
Within the study of human sociology, sociologists look through different lenses to view society. These lenses, or sociological paradigms, set a basis for the questions sociologists ask and provide different perspectives sociologists can take when attempting to explain humans and their societies. To display the diversity in which we may critique society, you can compare the two primary ways we approach sociology: social consensus and social conflict. To support my comparison I will outline information gathered in class and information from articles including Karl Marx’s “The Workings of Social Class” and Max Weber’s “Protestant Ethic” and “Spirit of Capitalism.”
Social conflict is the sociologic approach that views society with a strict emphasis on what is wrong and questions who is being exploited by what manner, while the approach of social consensus asks how society can maintain the cooperation which it is built of off. Karl Marx described societies as constant competition between the labor force and the capitalist regime. The financially dominant capitalists develop new forms of technology that must be produced by the workforce they employ. As business monarchs must compete with one another’s technology, they search for ways they can better gain the advantage. To maximize profit, the capitalists will often decrease their laborers’ wages, causing a rift in the laborer’s expected paycheck. To maintain the lifestyle they’re accustomed to, the laborer must work more hours, or produce the same results in less time. This monetary accomplishment gives the laborer a false consciousness. False consciousness is a sense of pride that exists within the worker, when in reality they are an exploited pawn in the capitalist’s chess game. The worker greater competes against their peers as well as themselves while the leader...
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