Conflict Theory

Topics: Health care, Health insurance, Health economics Pages: 6 (2242 words) Published: July 7, 2010
Conflict Theory
The modern society is a kind of an organization that consists of individual participants and social groups. These groups are engaged in a constant struggle the primary objective of which is to maximize individual profits of people and social groups. The struggle for maximizing the profits has become the main feature of modern capitalist society. The situation like this inevitably leads to conflict. The conflict theory has a long history of development. Initially, the conflict theory was introduced with the aim to explain conflict between social classes. At those times the major source of conflict between different social groups was the growing inequality between different social groups. The inequality resulted in the confrontation that occurred between the following social groups: proletarian and bourgeoisie. These forces were engaged in the long-term struggle the main objective of which was to gain control over the state and its people. Apart from reviewing the major causes of conflict, the conflict theory was introduced with the aim to refute functionalism. According to the functionalism theory, the society is functioning as a single organism where each individual and a group of individuals play a specific role. Functionalism views the society as a single body. This body consists of different parts that are functioning together as a single organism. (Korgen, White 34) The conflict theory is based on a number of important assumptions. According to these assumptions, society can be viewed as a combination of different conflicting forces. The situation like that inevitably ends in conflict. The conflict in the society is also reasoned by the effect of moderate forces. There are two groups of the conflicting forces: custom and conflict forces. The mixture of these forces defines the present pattern of our society. As for the conflict theory, I can say that this theory plays a very important role in epitomizing the classic 'pyramid structure' of the society. The theory also dictates the terms and conditions according to which the major institutions are supposed to function in the state. Conflict theory indicates the fact that state institutions, laws, and traditions are introduced with the aim to support those people who have traditionally been in power. The theory states that one group of the society is privileged while the other is not. The perceived superiority of one group over the other serves to be the main course of conflict between different social groups. The conflict theory is concerned with a whole set of important challenges that are posed before the society. According to the conflict theory, anything that challenges the control of the elite is likely to be considered as 'deviant' or 'morally reprehensible. (Korgen, White 32) The theory can be applied on different levels, including micro and macro level. Macro level means that the problem exists on the state level. When we are talking about the conflict between the US government and Soviet Russia, we are approaching the conflict theory on the macro level. Each state has a whole list of problems that exist on micro level. When we are using the term “micro level”, we mean state organizations and institutions that are functioning on the state level. Karl Marx introduced the theory of social conflict. According to the researcher, the theory can bring many important benefits for the society. One of these benefits is a chance to reduce social inequality and conflict. Some researcher described the theory as favoritism. In general, the main objective of the theory is to protect the abused groups of the society. The other important objective of conflict theory is to remove social inequality. (Berman 45) Conflict theory traces the major stages of wealth acquisition process. In addition to this, conflict theory defines the further functioning of the system. This functioning is determined by a whole set of important factors. One of these factors is the...

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