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Social conflict theory

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Social conflict theory is a Marxist-based social theory which argues that individuals and groups (social classes) within society have differing amounts of material and non-material resources (the wealthy vs. the poor) and that the more powerful groups use their power in order to exploit groups with less power. The two methods by which this exploitation is done are through brute force and economics. Earlier social conflict theorists argue that money is the mechanism which creates social disorder. The theory further states that society is created from ongoing social conflict between various groups.

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A homeless American.

John-D-Rockefeller-sen

Oil Tycoon: John D. Rockefeller

"Consider paying rent towards housing. The conflict theorist argues that this relationship is unequal and favors the owners. Renters may pay rent for 50 years and still gain absolutely no right or economic interest with the property. It is this type of relationship which the conflict theorist will use to show that social relationships are about power and exploitation."

Padgitt continues, "Marx argued that through a dialectic process, social evolution was directed by the result of class conflict. Marxism argues that human history is all about this conflict, a result of the strong-rich exploiting the poor-weak. From such a perspective, money is made through the exploitation of the worker. It is argued thus, that in order for a factory owner to make money, he must pay his workers less than they deserve."


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