Basic perspectives and schools of developing sociology in the XX century
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Such changes include political change, social change or revolutions. Hence conflict theory is best applied to explain the conflicts between social classes and clash of ideologies within the society like socialism. The theory attempts to refute functionalism that considers societies and organizations function harmoniously so that each individual and group plays a specific role, like organs in the body.
Modern conflict theory is built on three assumptions which are the basic elements of conflict within a class society: · interests commonly presented in various groups of the society, · power that develops inequalities and leads to coercion among various groups of the society, · coercion related to the unequal distribution of resources within various classes of the society that develops different power groups. This aspect is related to the clash of ideologies and conflicting values among various classes of the society. Charles Mills (1916-1962), a professor of Columbia University, is the one who elaborated the methodological principles of conflict theory.
In his works, The Power Elite (1956), The Sociological Imagination (1959) Ch. Mills was especially critical of structural functionalism because it rejected the idea of antagonism, rebel, revolution, and suggested the idea that harmony of interests was natural for any society. He didn't deny that order, stability, harmony are needed by a class in power but social life is full of both disorders and conflicts, and is always instable.
He considered social conflict as struggle for social power, values and status benefits, struggle whereby the opposite side tries not only to acquire benefits but neutralize or even liquidate the opponent. Its basic functions are seen in integration of the social structure, maintenance of solidarity within the group, strengthening of relations between humans and governing of social changes.Скачать