Discuss in detail the three (3) major assumptions of Conflict Theory. In light of these assumptions, how do conflict theorists view stratification based on social class in society. Include in your discussion 2 specific examples to support the conflict view.
I. Definition of conflict theory:
Conflict theory: this theory basically says that in society everyone functions to maximize their own benefits. Social/ political change, it is argued, is brought about due to this desire by groups to maximize their benefits.
Marxism and radical feminism are some examples of this theory.
III. The 3 major assumptions of conflict theory are:
a) Competition is at the heart of all social relationships (rather then consensus, individuals in society form relationships by competing - e.g. competing for jobs, for partners etc)
b) There are structural inequalities in all social structures. There is always some with more power then others, in other words. Those that benefit from a certain social structure want to maintain it.
c) Change is revolutionary not evolutionary. Change is a consequence of competition between social classes competing interests rather then adaption. So it's not because we adapt to new social systems that change occurs in society but because there are competing interests.
IV. Conflict theorists view stratification based on social class in society, as follows:
*This question calls for your opinion based on the above 3 presumptions. So note what I write here is merely my own opinion. Feel free to use as you like.
There will always be social classes because some will be more powerful than others. Those who are more powerful will want to maintain the status quo, and will be able to do so because they are more powerful. The ones who are not benefiting from this system (most likely also the ones less powerful) will want change in society. They will seek to change the social system, they may even revolt, and even if it is more subtle then an all out revolution change will be because there are competing social interests. Change will not happen because the...