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CONSENSUS PERSPECTIVE VS SOCIAL CONFLICT PERSPECTIVE - Essay Example

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Consensus perspective and social conflict perspective are two basic sociological theories that are used in the modern society.
The consensus theory is one of the…
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CONSENSUS PERSPECTIVE VS SOCIAL CONFLICT PERSPECTIVE
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Consensus Perspective Vs Social Conflict Perspective The central interest of sociology is to study people, groups interacting with each other for a common thread. Consensus perspective and social conflict perspective are two basic sociological theories that are used in the modern society.
Consensus perspective
The consensus theory is one of the infamous sociological theories. This perspective originated from a sociologist who was known as Emilie Durkheim. Durkheim argues that social facts dictate the context of the society. Social facts are customs, belief systems, and institutions which continue to exist because they are useful to the society: such as education. Members of society are constrained by social facts through their way of thinking, acting and feelings (Ritzer, 23).
Moreover, belief and moral codes are passed from one generation to another as they are shared by individuals who make up the society. He says that collective conscience and social stability can only be achieved through consensus that consists of “common beliefs and sentiments. Without this consensus, social solidarity could be impossible as human being will not integrate with each other” (Ritzer, 25).
Durkheim argues that collective conscience restricts individual to behave in accordance with the societal norms. His argument is based on the fact that the society is composed of various parts or institutions which are integrated to form it in order to produce social order. According to consensus; contract comes as a result of the consensus or the meeting of minds. Of any contracting parties without consensus there is no contract and hence it continues to be important and very essential to most of the approaches to contract law (Ritzer, 24).
Apparently, most of the participants in the development of this theory tend to think that the growth and the history of consensus theory give a greater knowledge of the foundations of modern contract law. In addition they view the history consensus theory as a testing ground for dissimilar conceptions.
Social conflict perspective,
The social conflict theory was developed in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to the association of two fathers of sociology who were known as Karl max and Max Weber (Ritzer, 28).
The social conflict perspective is one of the major sociological models of understanding the social world. Mainly, this perspective has got three components. First, is that it has conflict which is common and continuing in the society. Second, is that the society is comprised of several classes of populace who have contradictory values and interests. Third, is that the conflict that is present in the society occurs between the dominant and the subordinate who have stiff competition over scarce resources.
In this perspective, Karl Marx uses two groups to explain the phenomenon; the dominant class and the subordinate class. To him, a class is a group of individuals with similar positions in the market economy in which they compete to gain and by virtue of that fact receive similar economic gains, thus a person’s class position is basically his market position (Ritzer, 38).
The bourgeoisies own and manage the means of production in the society which include the distribution of their products. The other group is the proletariat. In essence the dominant group belongs to the capitalist while the subordinate group is the working class (Ritzer, 36).
Additionally, Max Weber asserts that the society is a ground of conflict and struggle between these two classes of people. However, unlike his colleague Karl, Max argues that these societal groups are many as they posses varying degrees of social power. Hence social conflict is inevitable in the society.

Works cited:
Ritzer. George. Handbook of social theory. London U.A.: SAGE. 2003. Print. Read More
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