conflict theory


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conflict theory

  1. any theory or collection of theories which emphasizes the role of CONFLICT (especially between groups and classes) in human societies.
  2. more specifically, the relatively diffuse collection of theories that, in the 1960s, were ranged against, and contested the dominance of, Parsonian STRUCTURAL-FUNCTIONALISM and its emphasis on societies as mainly governed by value consensus and the internalization of institutionalized shared values. The main feature of such conflict theories was that:
  1. they accused functionalist sociologies of disregarding conflicts of value and interest in human societies, or at best regarding these as a secondary phenomenon;
  2. as an alternative to functionalism, they offered an account of both the integration of society and of social change which emphasized the role of POWER and COERCION and the pursuit of economic and political interests in human affairs, as well as the more general role of conflict.
While some versions of conflict theory were Marxist or influenced by Marxism (e.g. GOULDNER), others were not, and were advanced on a more eclectic basis. One important approach, for example, was based on the work of SIMMEL (e.g. Lewis Coser, 1956) and emphasized the social functions as well as the disruptive effects of conflict. Still others (e.g. DAHRENDORF, REX) emphasized the significance of WEBER as well as of Marx in the study of conflict. In a highly influential article (‘Social integration and system integration’, 1964), David LOCKWOOD underlined the importance of an approach in which conflict was more central than in functionalism, when he drew attention once again to the existence of ‘social conflicts’ and ‘system contradictions’, as well as ‘social integration’ and ‘system integration’, as major elements in social life (see also SOCIAL INTEGRATION AND SYSTEM INTEGRATION). In the 1970s and subsequently with the reflourishing of a full range of conflict theories, simple distinctions between ‘functionalism’ and ‘conflict theory’ are no longer important, and with this the usage of ‘conflict theory’ in sense 2 has faded.
References in periodicals archive ?
Each chapter addresses the social problem from the perspective of the general theoretical approaches of structural functionalism, conflict theory, and symbolic interactionism, as well as in-depth analysis of specialized theories.
The second part is focused on theoretical framework highlighting social disorganization theory and social conflict theory.
We utilized the role conflict theory (Greenhaus & Beutell, 1985) to frame the analysis.
This phenomenon is quite relevant to Karl Marx conflict theory which confirms that power group has access to resources and life chances which unprivileged have not.
Interorganizational or interpersonal conflict is often viewed as negative or destructive, although recent trends in conflict theory have attempted to change those perceptions.
Conflict theory, in turn, was condemned by some because it also did not credit the individual with the capacity to be creative, was never fully developed, and ignored social order and stability, just as it had earlier attacked structural-functionalism's failure to account for conflict and change (6).
2010) which explains that:" Based on realistic group conflict theory, realistic threats (i.
He devotes whole chapters to Herbert Spencer, Karl Marx, Georg Simmel, Emile Durkheim, George Herbert Mead, but also systems theory, evolutionary theorizing, conflict theory, exchange theory, symbolic interactionist theory, phenomenology, ethnomethodological theories, American and European Critical Theory, and more.
These are: The Functionalist Theory The Conflict Theory Theory of Modernity and Modernization.
Yet, the approach's use of social conflict theory and its Marxist assumptions may underplay a key social cooperation factor in ASEAN and ASEAN member states' foreign policy decision-making in the post-Cold War period, and the difficulties ASEAN member states face reaching consensus.
By combining conflict theory with social exchange theory, in this study it was found that relationship conflict had a negative effect on KS, and that reward and reputation buffered this negative effect.
Gender role conflict theory has attempted to explain the distress men may experience when they receive a variety of mixed messages pertaining to what they are suppose to do.

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