Conflict Theory

1445 Words6 Pages
Conflict theory is the theory that human behavior in social contexts is the result of conflicts between competing groups, as different social groups, be they class-, gender- or race-defined, have unequal power and access to power, yet all groups compete for limited resources. This inevitably gives rise to tension and conflict, albeit often of the subtle variety, as oftentimes the conflicts between groups have been institutionalized in society to such a degree that the conflicts and tensions are such an expected part of society that the conflict, and inequality, itself disappears from public sight, and consciousness. For example, an adherent of a world systems theory of conflict would point to the global competition for resources, particularly the inequality between rich and poor nations struggling to provide the basic necessities of life to their inhabitants, as evidence of global conflict. Conflict theories seek to explain the interactions of groups within society, and assert that social order is preserved involuntarily through the exercise of power one social class holds over another (Lindsey, 2010, 7). The conflict between groups is not always obvious or apparent, so it must be unraveled and examined in order to identify and establish the impact of such conflict on society as a whole, as well as individual members and social groupings. Feminist conflict theory is concerned with the role and status of women in society, particularly within the context of analyzing gender
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