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Emad Khayat SOC2001 Robert Platt June 25, 2013 Choose any particular sociological theory that you have encountered on the course (examples might be ‘functionalism’, conflict theory’, ‘interactionism’, or ‘feminism’) and a) identify its main features; b) associate it with those sociologists/thinkers whose work has largely represented it; c) identify its strengths and weaknesses as a mode of explanation; and d) examine its application in one particular study…
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Download file to see previous pages In this regard, the current discourse would present the main features of the conflict theory; the sociologists or thinkers whose work has largely represented this particular theory; the strengths and weaknesses of the conflict theory; and finally, it’s application in an identified study. Main Features First and foremost, the level of analysis used in evaluating the conflict theory is more on a macro-oriented perspective. The main points include asserting that “culture benefits some groups at the expense of others” (Benokraitis 57). This means that conflict theories believed that there are social forces that allegedly create divisiveness; instead of unity or solidarity. Also, that there have been established social structures and stratification that creates a gap between the rich and the poor. Since the rich have more access to resources, more capabilities and power, they were deemed to have the capacities to further enrich themselves; while those within the poverty level were left with virtually limited or no resources to uplift their social status. It was further explained that “according to conflict theory, inequality exists because those in control of a disproportionate share of society’s resources actively defend their advantages. The masses are not bound to society by their shared values, but by coercion at the hands of those in power. This perspective emphasizes social control, not consensus and conformity” (Crossman par. 2). Likewise, the theory also advocated that the members of the ruling class continue to perpetuate endeavors that enable them to get richer and more powerful at the expense of a specifically identified subject class. As disclosed, “the ruling class derives its power from its ownership and control of the forces of production. The ruling class exploits and oppresses the subject class. As a result there is a basic conflict of interest between the two classes” (Conflict Theories par. 1). This fact was corroborated by Benokraitis who asserted that as evident from the conflict theory, due to the power and resources that have been primarily accessible to the ruling class, other new innovations and discoveries apparently exist to benefit those who are already in power. In fact, it was emphasized that new laws and regulations were allegedly designed to protect the interests and assets that have been generated and protected by the rich and the powerful. Sociologists/Thinkers whose Work has Largely Represented The conflict theory was allegedly originally attributed to Karl Marx. According to McClelland (2000), “owners are seen as making profits by paying workers less than their work is worth and, thus, exploiting them” (par. 5). The conflict theory proposed by Marx discussed scenarios that were observed within a capitalist society (McClelland). As such, what was initially evaluated in terms of concepts of materialism and diverse economic structures of society; eventually led to more focused discussions on concepts such as feudalism, capitalism, and socialism (McClelland). Likewise, Marx allegedly created a complex concept that encompassed other conflicts within the social realm, to wit: “Conflict theory regarding class Conflict theory re ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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