Assess the shortcomings of the social conflict perspective

The Conflict Perspective (From Jonathan Turner, Sociology: The Science of Human Organization

The History Of The Conflict Perspective Sociology Essay

We have deliberately used the term units to emphasize that either individuals or groups of individuals can be the parties in exchange relations. Central to the exchange perspective is the view that all social relationships-whether between lovers or nations-are a process in which each party seeks to make a net profit from what it must give up to obtain valuable goods from the other party. Like the conflict perspective, the exchange analysis holds that when units receive less than they give up, tension and conflict are likely to occur. When the exchange of resources is considered equitable, some degree of stability in relations is likely.

The Conflict Perspective and Family Violence essay preview

Introducing the Conflict Perspective

In some respects conflict analysis is similar to functionalism . As in the functional perspective, the social world is viewed as a system of parts. As with functionalism also, the goal is to analyze the impact of certain processes on the overall system. Unlike the functional approach, which is typically concerned with stability and order among system parts, however, the conflict perspective focuses on the tensions and conflicts among system parts . In particular, conflict theorists examine the changes that ensue from tension and conflict. Rather than study the needs met by the economy of a society, for example, conflict sociologists would study how those who own and control the economy seek to deny resources, such as power and money, to those who merely work in factories and corporate bureaucracies. They would analyze how such opposed interests produce tension, overt conflict, and eventual change in the relations between owners and workers in the economy.

Problems of the Conflict Perspective Presumes elite solidarity Presumes all behavior is motivated by self-interest Presumes all behavior is economically founded

A thorough Analysis, A Compare and Contrast of the Three Sociological Perspectives: Functionalist, Conflict, and Interactionist. As discussed above these that the approach to study the sociology is perspective. "The functionalist perspective is a sociological approach which emphasizes the way that parts of a society are structure to maintain its stability,"16 This perspective looks at a society in a positive manner and sees it as stable, with all the parts working together. Under the functionalist view every social aspect of a society contributes to the society's survival, and if not, the aspect is not passed to the next generation. "The conflict perspective is a sociological approach which assumes that social behavior is best understood in terms of conflict or tension between different groups". In contrast to the functionalist view of stability, conflict sociologist sees a society as being in constant struggle. The idea of conflict is not necessarily violent; it could just refer to disagreements that are worked out through a mediator17. The two main contributors to the formation of the conflict perspective are Karl Marx and W. E. B. Du Bois. Karl Marx explained that conflicts between classes of society are inevitable, since workers will always be exploited as a result of capitalism. It is through the expansion of Marx's work that sociologist now apply conflict theory to all aspects of society. Even though there are parallels between Marxist theories and conflict perspective they are not the same. An important aspect of conflict perspective is that it encourages sociologists to look at a society through the eyes of those in the population who does not influence decision making18. Du Bois contributed to the conflict perspective by studying society in reference to blacks and their struggles within society. "The interactionist perspective is a sociological approach which generalizes about fundamental or everyday forms of social interaction19,” Interactionist perspective focuses on the way that small groups act, in order to understand society as a whole. Interactionist study people in their everyday behavior and how they react to their surroundings. Such surroundings may include material things, actions, other people, and symbols. George Herbert Mead is most often credited with founding the interactionist perspective, but Charles Horton Cooley also shared Mead's views. Mead was a professor at the University of Chicago, and he focused on the analysis of one-to-one situations and other small groups. He paid particular attention to body language such as a frown or nod, and he also asked the questions of how other group members affected these gestures20.

The Conflict Perspective


A more sociological definition of family is; “a kinship grouping which provide for the rearing of children and for certain other human needs.”20 Our major concern is the conflict perspective on family institution. Family has so many dimensions-forms of family, types of family, functions, divorce and many others- but we will discuss our subject matter-the conflict perspective.