Fall 2010 Conflict and Critical Theories
inanutshell • Society the thing consists of distributions of interests and distributions of power and society the happening involves interactions among these. • Language, ideas, culture are important playing field on which society happens • Imagine there’s no conflict…it isn’t hard to do, but it’s completely unrealistic…
Outline • Ingredients • Genealogy and Branches • Historical Imperatives • Varieties • Frankfurt School • “Public Sociology” 1950s-60s-70s • Disciplinary Self-Critique • Collins’ Conflict Theory
Ingredients • Genealogy and Branches • Historical Imperatives
Genealogy and Branches Conflict theories 1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 Critical Theory (Frankfurt School) “Conflict Theory” “Public Sociology” R. Collins Conflict Sociology Critical Race Theory Feminist Theories QueerTheories Critical Legal Studies Critical Etc. Theory
Machiavelli(1469-1527) Hobbes(1588-1679) Genealogy Marx (class struggle) (ideology) (consciousness) (critical, false) Weber (power) (class, status, power) (legitimacy) Simmel(1858-1918) Conflict as sociation Clausewitz (1780-1831) War…policy…other means Malthus(1766 –1834) Darwin (1809–82) Conflict theories 1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 Spencer (1820-1903) Russian Revolution, etc. Great Depression Freud Durkheim (ritual) Adorno(1903-69) Horkheimer (1895-1973) WWII, Cold War, 1950s Erikson (1902-94) (identity crisis) Mills (1916-62) Marcuse (1898 – 1979) Reisman (1909-2002) Goffman (1922-82) (impression mgt) Habermas (b1929) Game Theory (Schellling) Collins (b1941) Critical Race Theory Feminist Theories QueerTheories Critical Legal Studies Critical Etc. Theory
Historical Imperatives (1920-50) • Russian Revolution, great depression, Stalin, WWII, fascism, cold war, US becomes world power, the bomb, civil rights, breakdown of colonialism
WWI, Bolshevik Revolution Change Playing Field for Left European socialism had three choices • support moderate non-revolutionary (SPD) socialists and disavow Moscow • accept Moscow, join communist (KPD) party, work against Weimar republic These were old choices. Recent events gave rise to 3rd option: • re-examine foundations of Marxist theory, understand past, prepare for future (Jay 1973, 3).
Simmel • Conflict and the Web of Group Affiliations • Proposition: Conflict establishes and maintain identity and boundary lines of groups. • Proposition: Conflict is not always dysfunctional for a relationship; may even be necessary. Safety valve and signal. • Proposition: Conflict is not absence of relationship; conflict presumes a relationship.
Weber • Exercise of power a primary social dynamic • Claim . Symbolic realm recursively entwined with material • Claim: Bases of legitimacy change over time. • Claim: State as legitimate monopoly on force. • Claim: Organization as crystallization of power relations.
Freud and Erikson • Psychic struggle/conflict as “natural” • Claim . (Self) deception, repression, denial as common • Claim: Stages of development with external identifications. • Claim: Self can be irrational.
Malthus & Darwin • Struggle for survival, competition for resources
Goffman • Social life as impression management and strategic interaction
von Neumann &Morgenstern • Theory of Games and Economic Behavior(1944)
Varieties • Frankfurt School • “Public Sociology” 1950s-60s-70s • Disciplinary Self-Critique • Collins’ Conflict Theory
Frankfurt School • Summer 1922 group of independent thinkers convene to discuss Marxism. • Inspired organizing formal setting for same purpose. • 1923 Felix Weil, well-to-do political science PhD, helped to set up an endowment and found the Institute for Social Research affiliated with the University of Frankfurt. (Jay 1973, 8)