Professor Nelda Nix-McCray
13 September 2013
Major Theories of Sociology
The Conflict Theory, the second major school of thought in sociology. The theory suggests that human behavior in social backgrounds results from conflicts between competing groups. The theory originated during the mid-1800s, by a German philosopher named Karl Marx. Karl Marx was a cultural commentator, political activist, economist, sociologist, historian, journalist, philosopher, and revolutionary socialist; he was born in 1818 and died in 1883. But before he died, he was the inspiration behind theories such as, Marxism: is the early stage, or the fundamental of communism.
The theory is Marxist-based social theory which argues that individuals and groups within society have differing amounts of material and non-material resources, such as, the wealthy vs. the poor, and that the more powerful groups use their power in order to exploit groups with less power. The Conflict Theory states that conflict and tension are basic facts of social life, and suggests that people have contention over goals and values. Plus, they are involved in struggles over both resources and power. The theory takes a materialistic view of society and expands it to other social inequalities.
Conflict theory can be used to explain the media's influence on the society of today. First, we have to look at who controls the media. The vast majority of media is owned and controlled by society's elite, or “bourgeoisie,” in conflict theory terminology. The media is a tool, in which those in power use to further their agenda, which is to keep the poor divided and ineffective. According to the Conflict Theory, the poor will continue to be used and exploited until the revolt together and overthrow the ones who control the media, the wealthy. The wealthy are the ones who profit on the expenses of the poor. But until the poor come together and revolt, the wealthy will continue to rise and...