Conflict theory sees society as a dynamic entity constantly undergoing adjust as an outcome of competition over scarce resources.

You are watching: The social-conflict approach sometimes receives criticism for


Learning Objectives

Identify the tenets of and also contributors to conflict concept, as well as the criticisms made against it

Key Points

Conflict concept sees social life as a competition, and concentrates on the distribution of sources, power, and also inetop quality. Unlike functionalist concept, problem concept is better at explaining social adjust, and also weaker at explaining social stability. Conflict theory has actually been critiqued for its incapacity to describe social stcapability and increpsychological adjust. Conflict concept derives from the concepts of Karl Marx.

Key Terms

dispute theory: A social science perspective that holds that stratification is dysuseful and also harmful in culture, via inequality perpetuated because it benefits the well-off and also powerful at the expense of the poor. functionalism: Structural functionalism, or ssuggest functionalism, is a frame for building concept that sees culture as a facility device whose components work-related together to promote solidarity and stcapacity.

The Conflict Perspective

The dispute perspective, or conflict theory, derives from the ideas of Karl Marx, who thought society is a dynamic entity constantly undergoing adjust thrust by course dispute. Whereas functionalism understands society as a complicated device striving for equilibrium, the problem perspective views social life as competition. According to the dispute perspective, culture is made up of people contending for restricted sources (e.g., money, leicertain, sex-related partners, and so on.). Competition over scarce resources is at the heart of all social relationships. Competition, fairly than consensus, is characteristic of humale relationships. Broader social structures and also establishments (e.g., religions, government, etc.) reflect the competition for sources and the natural inetop quality competition entails; some human being and also organizations have even more sources (i.e., power and also influence), and also usage those resources to maintain their positions of power in society.

C. Wbest Mills is known as the founder of modern dispute theory. In his work, he believes social frameworks are created because of conflict in between differing interests. People are then influenced by the development of social frameworks, and the usual result is a differential of power between the ” elite ” and also the “others”. Instances of the “elite” would certainly be government and also large corporations. G. William Domhoff believes in a comparable approach as Mills and also has created around the “power elite of America”.

Sociologists who job-related from the problem perspective study the circulation of sources, power, and also inehigh quality. When examining a social institution or phenomenon, they ask, “Who benefits from this facet of society? ”


Conflict Theory and Change

While functionalism emphasizes stcapacity, problem theory emphasizes readjust. According to the dispute perspective, society is constantly in problem over sources, and also that dispute drives social adjust. For example, problem theorists can describe the civil rights movements of the 1960s by studying exactly how activists tested the racially unequal circulation of political power and financial sources. As in this example, conflict theorists mainly check out social change as abrupt, also revolutionary, fairly than incremental. In the dispute perspective, adjust comes around with conflict between competing interests, not consensus or adaptation. Conflict concept, therefore, offers sociologists a structure for explaining social adjust, thereby addressing among the problems with the functionalist perspective.

See more: Why Is The Mom In Hairspray A Man In 'Hairspray'? Why Did Travolta Play Tracy'S Mom


Criticism of Conflict Theory

Predictably, problem concept has been criticized for its emphasis on adjust and also disregard of social stcapacity. Some movie critics acunderstanding that cultures are in a consistent state of readjust, but point out that much of the change is minor or increpsychological, not revolutionary. For instance, many modern capitalist claims have avoided a communist rdevelopment, and also have actually rather instituted intricate social company programs. Although problem theorists often emphasis on social change, they have, in reality, likewise occurred a concept to explain social stcapacity. According to the dispute perspective, inefeatures in power and also reward are constructed right into all social frameworks. Individuals and groups that advantage from any type of specific structure strive to watch it preserved. For example, the affluent may fight to keep their privileged accessibility to higher education by opposing steps that would certainly expand accessibility, such as affirmative action or public resources.