(noun) A theory that posits conflict and social inequality will inevitable occur because of differing interests and values between groups, particularly the competition for scarce resources such wealth and power.
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- Plural: conflict theories
- While conflict theory originated from the work of Karl Marx (1818–1883), there is not singular conflict theory but rather conflict theories.
- The basic assumption of conflict theory is an individual or group will dominate others and actively avoid being dominated.
- Conflict theory grew out of critique of functionalism.
- Conflict theory scholars include Karl Marx (1818–1883), Georg Simmel (1858–1918), and Max Weber (1864–1920).
- A type of macrosociology.
- Also called:
- conflict framework
- conflict paradigm
- conflict perspective
- conflict theoretical strategy
- social conflict theory (social-conflict theory)
- “Conflict perspectives argue that society is a continuous power struggle among competing groups, often based on class, race, ethnicity, or gender” (Kendall 2006:37).
- Collins, Randall. 1975. Conflict Sociology: Toward an Explanatory Science. New York: Academic Press.
- Coser, Lewis A. 1956. The Functions of Social Conflict. New York: Free Press.
- Dahrendorf, Ralf. 1959. Class and Class Conflict in Industrial Society. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
- Goldstone, Jack. 1991. Revolution and Rebellion in the Early Modern World. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
- Moore, Barrington. 1966. Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.
- Paige, Jeffrey. 1975. Agrarian Revolution: Social Movements and Export Agriculture in the Underdeveloped World. New York: Free Press.
- Rex, John. 1981. Social Conflict: A Conceptual and Theoretical Analysis. London: Longman.
- Skocpol, Theda. 1979. States and Social Revolutions: A Comparative Analysis of France, Russia and China. New York: Cambridge University Press.
- Tilly, Charles. 1978. From Mobilization to Revolution. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.
- Turner, Jonathan H. 1984. Societal Stratification: A Theoretical Analysis. New York: Columbia University Press.
- Wright, Eric Olin. 1997. Class Counts. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.
Kendall, Diane. 2006. Sociology in Our Times: The Essentials. 5th ed. Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth.
OpenStax College. 2012. “Theoretical Perspectives.” Connexions. October 9, 2012. (http://cnx.org/content/m42792/1.6/).