Although originally written as a economic theory, Conflict Theory has many of t principles that can be utilized to create sociological perspective. Similar to Functionalism, Conflict theory analyzes society on a macroscopic scale, however, as Functionalism tries to achieve homeostasis and each part of society attributes to this Conflict theory differs drastically. Within the perspective of Conflict Theory society is rife with tension and strife. This conflict is demonstrated by the allocation of resources in society, resources are not distributed evenly, in a Conflict Perspective society there are two groups the Bourgeoisie, the ruling class, and the Proletariat, the working class. Hence the Bourgeoisie have allocated more resources, the ruling class has power and advantage over the Proletariat. Both groups are driven by different goals, the Bourgeoisie have a disproportionate amount of resources, and thus there goal becomes being able to keep the resources they have under their control. In turn this drives the Bourgeoisie to attempt to control the Proletariat, an example from “Three Sociological Perspectives,” in Understanding Social Problems illustrates this as the authors state:
“For example, Marx suggested that religion serves as an “opiate of the masses” in that it soothes the distress and suffering associated with the working-class lifestyle and focuses the workers’ attention on spirituality, God, and the afterlife rather than on such worldly concerns as living conditions. In essence, religion diverts the workers so that they concentrate on being rewarded in heaven for living a moral life rather than on questioning their exploitation.”
This is but one of countless ways the Bourgeoisie manipulates the Proletariat. This could also be said about the various national sports teams or the latest soap opera that is on during prime time. The average individual would much rather be concerned with by who is going to the Super Bowl or who will be the next Bachelor than the latest piece of legislation that cuts spending to civic services or the changes in Terms & Agreements that allows the tech company to collect data off your electronic device. Although these seem like small exploits often they lead to larges ones, such as the data collected by the tech company could be used to specialize ads to you, conditioning you to by another companies product.
Conflict Theory and Censorship
Within Conflict Theory, the ideas of Marx, states that there are two groups, the Bourgeoisie and the Proletarians are in a constant conflict with the other. In Tulsa, Oklahoma, during the 1950s, conflict arose between the Bourgeoisie and the Proletarians. As parents tried to exert their will on the reading list of Edison Prep, as they tried to remove Catcher in the Rye from the 11th grade class. The parents in this case the Bourgeoisie tried to not only remove the book but also to attempted to remove the instructor from their position. Despite the Proletarians, both the students and the instructor, having a deep interest the book.
Barkan, Steve. Sociology: Understanding and Changing the Social World. Cengage, 2014.
COMMUNIST MANIFESTO./nWrapper of the first edition of Karl Marx’s and Friedrich Engel’s ‘The Communist Manifesto,’ London, 1848.. Fine Art. Britannica ImageQuest, Encyclopædia Britannica, 25 May 2016.
Mooney, Linda A., et al. Understanding Social Problems. Cengage Learning, 2007.
Friedrich Engels (1820-95) in 1879. German socialist and collaborator and supporter of Karl Marx. Lived mainly in England from 1842. Cooperated on the Communist Manifesto (1848).. Photography. Britannica ImageQuest, Encyclopædia Britannica, 25 May 2016.
Karl Marx, German political theorist. Photograph. Britannica ImageQuest, Encyclopædia Britannica, 25 May 2016.