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ConflictTheory is one of the major theories in human behavior and the socialenvironment. It begins with Karl Marx (who is known as the father of communism)and his analysis of history in the mid-1800s.
Marx believed that one’s socialclass has a huge impact on the many conflicts individuals face. He believedthat these conflicts arose from two main classes of people, which include thebourgeoisie, people who own the tools used to make money, and the proletariatwhich are the workers of the bourgeoisie. Marx believed that these two groups alwayshave conflict because the bourgeoisie exploits the Proletarian by unjustlydistributing resources (Engels 1886).
In a capitalist society this issue willnever fade. Eventually the Proletarians realized that they were being exploitedas conditions got worse and revolted on demanding change. Marx believed if acapitalist system stays in place this conflict will continue to exist. Over theyears the Conflict Theory expanded to cover conflicts such as race, gender,sexuality, Religion, government, schools etc. Basically, anything where peopleare not on the same page. People with power in our society will do anything tokeep their power while the little people are struggling to gain the resourcesthey need.
Statement of Theory The focus is how power imbalance and structures impactpeople’s lives. The Conflict Theory looks at society as a battlefieldgenerating conflict and social change. This is due to the inequalities withinour society, and the problems they cause between the rich and the poor forscarce resources and power. Have you ever wondered how individuals bring changeto society? Marx believed society progresses through conflict. It’s how control,power and abuse are regulated. Have you ever wondered why there are many poorpeople in America, the main reason is social conflict. America does not providethe same opportunities to people who are poor as they do with the rich. Forexample, two people may apply for a job; however, one comes from a poorbackground and the other from a rich background.
With social conflict thatexists in America the person from the rich family has a higher chance of landingthe job. This can also be said of a person of color and a white person. The conflict Theory goes hand in hand with the FeministTheory.
Men were always seen to have more power than women economically becausemen had the opportunity to work while women had to stay home and care for herfamily. Men believed that a women’s role is to find a husband, reproduce, cookand clean. This brought conflict, inequality between men and women. Womaneventually fought for their rights through legal and political means. Achievingtheir goals such as allowing women join the army. Major ConceptsThemajor concept of the conflict theory is that all social orders propagate a fewtypes of abuse and treachery and auxiliary imbalance. Social change is aneffect of conflict. It shows how unstable a society can be with unpredictablechange.
Periods of change interruptsperiods of stability. This is proven by war, fallen governments and shifts ofpower. Conflict is basically when power is unequally distributed and somegroups dominate others. This brings about social order which is based on themanipulation and control by elite groups.
Although it gives a discouragingoutlook on life, Conflict Theory to me gives the best explanation of society.It explains religion, government, social change, and many other aspects ofsociety. It explains the quote “the rich is getting richer and the poor isgetting poorer” The rich feed off the poor to keep them rich. Conflict Theoryshows the life is not characterized by consensus its characterized by conflict.
Without conflict there will be no change. Every society, every racial group,every human being forms an oppression because of the injustice and socialinequality. Applicationto Theory Conflict Theory shows the role ofpower in a society. It shows how inequality exists through unequal distributionof resources.
There are many resources that only the rich are allowed to use.Individuals advance with the different resources that are available to them.Conflict theory focuses on the broad issues in society so therefore theMacro-level practice is put in place.
“Macro social workers advisegovernment leaders and drive public awareness of the issues” They work at thecommunity and systems level. While working with clients Conflict theory isuseful in creating assessments. By conducting an assessment the client beginsby describing the nature of the conflict. There are many steps a social workershould take while making an assessment. First, the social worker shouldevaluate their client’s conflict and look at it in from their client’sperspective and the perspective of the other party (the system).
Secondly, evaluating the role of the higherpower in the conflict and your client’s views toward that power. You shouldalso discuss things such as the client’s dependency toward that power, theirviews and to discuss the actual conflict arising from that specific powersource. You should talk about the goals your client may have and how thespecific conflict might get in the way of their goals. You should discussdifferent strategies that might be useful in solving this conflict. And talkabout how the “power source” might change their behavior to manage the conflictthat is being addressed. Also, by looking at the history of the conflict andanalyzing nay previous attempts intrying to solve the conflict and identifying possible future solutions. Applicationto Diverse Groups Homelessness is a huge problem United States “the number of homelessfamilies rose by close to 30 percent between 2007 and 2009″(Champion, 2010).
It can be connected to the ConflictTheory because of capitalism being one of the main reasons for homelessness inAmerica. Many say that the reasons for the continuous rise of homelessness arefinancial factors (lack of money). The government states there are lots ofresources for the homeless but there has yet we still see a homeless person inalmost every corner in NYC. Looking at the census department there are morethan 18.9 million vacant housing units in the U.S.
(census.gov). Barak Obamaonce wrote “it is simply unacceptable for individuals, children, families andour veterans to be faced with homelessness in this country,” but then how canthe rise of the homeless be explained? Many people look at wealthy people and say that theyworked hard to get where they are through education, hard work, and dedication.While they look at poor people as being lazy and not wanting to be educated.They believe that “poor” people just want to take advantage of the system whenin reality it’s the system taking advantage of them.