Conflict Perspective. According to this perspective, groups in society are engaged in a continuous power struggle for control of scarce resources Conflict may take the form of politics, litigation, negotiation or family discussion about financial matters. Conflict Perspective.
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According to this perspective, groups in society are engaged in a continuous power struggle for control of scarce resources
Conflict may take the form of politics, litigation, negotiation or family discussion about financial matters
Advocates of the conflict perspective view social life as a continuous struggle among competing social groups
Key influences: Simmel, Weber, Marx
Marx focused on the exploitation of the working class by the capitalist class
Weber saw the significance of economic conditions in producing inequality, but added power and prestige as other sources of inequality
Power – the ability of a person within a social relationship to carry out his or her own will despite resistance from others
Prestige – a positive or negative social estimation of honour
Other theorists, such as Dahrendorf (1959), simply see conflict as part of everyday life
People in positions of authority benefit from the conformity of others; those who are forced to conform feel resentment and demonstrate resistance
eg. children vs. their parents
Mills (1916-1962) maintained that sociologists should get involved in social change
He did not believe that sociologists could be “value free”; he encouraged others to address the major resource and power inequalities in society
He believed that the most important decisions are made mostly behind the scenes by the power elite
The power elite – a small clique composed of the top corporate, political and military officials
How do social theorists link social class pressures to suicide among North American teenagers?
What are the known risk factors associated with suicide among Canadian youth? For those people who commit (or attempt to commit) suicide and who do not fit these descriptions, what others factors do you think might play a role?
Why are suicide rates so high among minority groups, particularly among Aboriginals? How does the conflict framework (perspective) differ from other research?
What are some of the benefits of the conflict perspective? What are some of the criticisms of the conflict perspective?