Conflict Perspective

Topics: Sociology, Social class, Oppression Pages: 2 (973 words) Published: October 28, 2014

What is the perspective you chose about? Key points and conceptsThe general belief of the conflict perspective is that society is comprised of groups with competing self-interests. Deriving from this competition is a struggle for power. Most often, the distribution of power is imbalanced among the groups. People are competing for resources that are in scarce supply. The social groups in a society that tend to dominate over others are the ones who maintain the majority of the wealth, prestige, and power. Farley has summarized that societies naturally tend toward conflict. (2000) This occurs because wealth and power are distributed unequally; therefore, different social groups have different and conflicting interests. (Farley, 2000). Rising from the disparity of wealth and power between the social groups is the exploitation of the lower classes by dominant groups. It is assumed that if someone or some group is suffering or placed in a disadvantaged position, there must be some other group (that is more powerful) that benefits from the misery of the disadvantaged group. (Farley, 2000) The inequity of wealth and power has created a social stratification in our society. The disadvantaged social classes remain oppressed and exploited by the disproportioned allocation of resources and opportunities. They essentially are resigned to a life of low income and poverty. How does this perspective apply to the case of George? What aspects of this case does the perspective fail to address and how useful is this theory when applied to the case of George? The conflict perspective illustrates how the early shift in William George’s social class assignment had a direct effect on his and his family’s acquisition of resources or lack thereof. Initially, William’s family had the social advantages of being Caucasian and living in a rural area where the head of household had a good paying job that was providing for upward economic mobility. The single life event of the...
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