Conflict theories are perspectives in social science that emphasize the social, political or material inequality of a social group, that critique the broad socio-political system, or that otherwise detract from structural functionalism and ideological conservativism. Conflict theories draw attention to power differentials, such as class conflict, and generally contrast historically dominant ideologies. It is therefore a macro level analysis of society.
Karl Marx is the father of the social conflict theory, which is a component of the 4 paradigms of sociology . Certain conflict theories set out to highlight the ideological aspects inherent in traditional thought. Whilst many of these perspectives hold parallels, conflict theorydoes not refer to a unified school of thought, and should not be confused with, for instance, peace and conflict studies, or any other specific theory of social conflict. Karl Marx: Conflict Theory The most influential socialist thinker from the 19th century is Karl Marx.
Karl Marx can be considered a great philosopher, social scientist, historian or revolutionary. Marx proposed what is known as the conflict theory. The conflict theory looks at how certain social interactions occur through conflict. People engage in conflict everyday to gain more power then others in society. Karl Marx is known for studying the conflicts that occur between different classes. Karl Marx has introduced some radical ideas and theories to society through his writings.
The three-component theory of stratification, more widely known as Weberian Stratification or Three Class System, was developed by German sociologist Max Weber with class, status and party as distinct ideal types. Weber developed a multidimensional approach to Social stratification that reflects the interplay among wealth, prestige and power. “Weber argued that power can take a variety of forms. A person’s power can be shown in the social order through their status, in the economic order through their class, and in the political order through their party.
Thus, class, status and party are each aspects of the distribution of power within a community. ” (Hurst, 202) Class, Status and Party have a great deal of effect not only within their individual areas but also have a great deal of influence over the other areas as well. ?Wealth: includes property such as buildings, lands, farms, houses, factories and as well as other assets - Economic situation ? Prestige: the respect with which a person or status position is regarded by others - Status Situation ?
Power: the ability of people or groups to achieve their goals despite opposition from others - Parties According to Weber, there are two basic dimensions of power: The possession of power and the exercising of power. Weber wrote this essay shortly before World War I, and it was published in German in 1920 as part of Max Weber Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft. It was translated into English by Hans Gerth and C. Wright Mills with the title "Class, Status, Party" in the 1940s (Weber 1946 and 1978).
Most recently, it has been re-translated as "The distribution of power within the community: Classes, Stande, Parties" translated by Dagmar Waters and others (Weber 2010). Conflict theory The several social theories that emphasize social conflict have roots in the ideas of Karl Marx (1818-1883), the German theorist and political activist. The Marxist conflict approach emphasizes a materialist interpretation of history, a dialectical method of analysis, a critical stance toward existing social arrangements, and a political program of revolution or, at least, reform.
The materialist view of history starts from the premise that the most important determinant of social life is the work people are doing, especially work that results in provision of the basic necessities of life, food, clothing and shelter. Marx thought that the way the work is socially organized and the technology used in production will have a strong impact on every other aspect of society. He maintained that everything of value in society results from human labor. Thus, Marx saw working men and women as engaged in making society, in creating the conditions for their own existence.
Marx summarized the key elements of this materialist view of history as follows: In the social production of their existence, men inevitably enter into definite relations, which are independent of their will, namely relations of production appropriate to a given stage in the development of their material forces of production. The totality of these relations of production constitutes the economic structure of society, the real foundation, on which arises a legal and political superstructure and to which correspond definite forms of social consciousness. The mode of roduction of material life conditions the general process of social, political and intellectual life. It is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but their social existence that determines their consciousness (Marx 1971:20). Marx divided history into several stages, conforming to broad patterns in the economic structure of society. The most important stages for Marx's argument were feudalism, capitalism, and socialism. The bulk of Marx's writing is concerned with applying the materialist model of society to capitalism, the stage of economic and social development that Marx saw as dominant in 19th century Europe.
For Marx, the central institution of capitalist society is private property, the system by which capital (that is, money, machines, tools, factories, and other material objects used in production) is controlled by a small minority of the population. Karl marx --CONSIDER THE MOST INTERESTED IN THE SOCIAL INPACT OF CAPITALIST SOCIETY . --CONSIDER THE MOST INFLUENTIAL SOCIALIST THINKER FROM 19TH CENTURY. --CONSIDER ONE OF THE GREAT PHILOSOPHER, SOCIAL SCIENTIST, HISTORIAN, AND REVOLUTIONARY. --PROPOSED THE CONFLICT THEORY. --FATHER OF SOCIAL CONFLICT THEORY.