Sociology Index

CONFLICT PERSPECTIVES

Conflict perspectives are sociological perspectives that focus on the inherent divisions of society with social inequality and the way these social divisions give rise to different and competing interests. Karl Marx is the father of the social conflict theory, a component of the four paradigms of sociology. Conflict perspectives are macro level analysis of society. The central assumption in conflict perspectives is that social structures and cultural ideas tend to reflect the interests only of some members of society rather than society as a whole. Conflict perspectives are theories in sociology and social psychology that emphasize the social inequality, political inequality, or material inequality of a social group, that critique and detract from structural functionalism and ideological conservatism.

This contrasts with consensus perspectives or functionalist perspectives which assume a foundation of common interest among all members of society. Marxism and feminism are examples of conflict perspectives. Max Weber's approach to conflict is contrasted with that of Karl Marx. Conflict perspectives highlight the ideological aspects inherent in traditional thought. Conflict perspectives draw attention to power differentials, such as class conflict, and generally contrast dominant ideology thesis. World-systems theory is also a type of conflict perspective. Those nations which developed capitalistic economies early then went on to dominate other nations through colonialism and colonization.

Books on Conflict Perspectives

Social Problems: A Critical Power-Conflict Perspective - Joe R. Feagin, Clairece Booher Feagin.

Sociological Readings in the Conflict Perspective by William J. Chambliss.

Professions and Disciplines: Functional and Conflict Perspectives by Daniel W. Rossides.