Sociological Theory 411 -Conflict theory, Week 5 Notes continued
Sociological Theory 411 -Conflict theory, Week 5 Notes continued SOCI 411
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
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SOCI 411 CONFLICT THEORY First theorist KARL MARX Marx said human society can be separated into six classifications: I . TYPOLOGY OF HUMAN SOCIETIES (Can be divided into): 1. Primitive 2. Slave System 3. Feudal System 4. Capitalist System 5. Socialist System 6. Communists System *of the Primitive System, Slave System, and Feudal System You are able to identify two major classes. (first characteristic) Primitive System clan leader & follower Slave System slave master and slave (colonial America) Feudal System land owner & serfs *2 characteristic social boundaries mostly rigid in primitive, slave, and feudal systems Social mobility is very seldom; people use to keep certain postions for duration of their life; not possible to be promoted or move up known as powerless members Most of the time, people are not able to alter their social identity (extremely hard if not impossible) Two characteristics that imply each of the three societies: highly suppressive, highly unequal society Each of these three systems are less productive societies (technology was not utilized in order to advance in society) Marx said before the Industrial Revolution took place, all individuals in society were either placed in a primitive, slave, or feudal society. Research focus of Karl Marx showed how a capitalist society describes it as the most unique system in history II. CORE FEATURES OF THE CAPITALIST SYSTEM (example of a capitalist system American society) 1. Individuals started utilizing new forms of technology and machines in order to produce specific products 2. There were two “fundamental changes” that occurred when technology and machines began to be used: Interpersonal Relationships Influenced by social membership, which may alter the course of relationships If individuals maintain interpersonal relationships and distribute resources (share 2 components), then this group is known as the capitalists ; capitalists are also known as (social elites, or high elites) since most people don’t posses certain elements, interpersonal relationships are unequal, since majority is controlled/owned by capitalists If individuals do not maintain interpersonal relationships or distribute any resources (do not share 2 components), then this group is known as the workers Distribution of Resources (four things are monopolized by capitalist society): Distribution of resources are not evenly distributed 4 means of production land, machine, factory, capital (money); in fact, these four elements are own shared by a select group of individuals, other people do not have the means to possess these four things domination of justice regarding the distribution of resources observable to all members in capitalist society (universal) 3. Social Structure of Capitalist Society Marx explained, amongst these two factors, economy result in a “social foundation” for a capitalist society The power is shared among capitalists only. Economy influenced by: law, religion, culture, & education each group will become a ‘reflection of society’; economic decisions: preserve the status quo, to regulate employees and earn more money through law rules will become weapons, resources can be used to illegalize certain situations like social reforms social efforts) Capitalists will maintain certain guidelines by lawmaking Law major factor in protecting the status quo; a conservative system through religion because of the establishment of a unique economic system, different religions will be not be favored by elites. Term “Liberation theology” used mostly radical churches, but not in capitalist society, such as in Meixco Ex. American churches are mostly conservative circles back to the reflection of the economy/status quo Churches encourage its members to support the status quo in a capitalist society through culture in capitalist society, there’s an idea that monogamy is the ideal way of marriage (tends to focus on social traditions) and you’re able to spend economic resources on one family; to Marx, this marriage system of capitalist society actually allowed others to spend less on resources with polygamy, not favored, Marx proposed you’re actually allowed to spend more sources on more than just one source of an ideal family, in a capitalist society it’s thought to undermine the economy and not welcomed by this group through education pupils are expected to obtain knowledge of new skills and become productive workers in a capitalist society *In all, interpersonal relationships will be unevenly distributed in a capitalist society regarding things like wealth and privilege and economy is the foundation of a capitalist society. Marx considered this society a highly suppressive/exploitative society. In a capitalist society there is the relationship between capitalists and workers, and this society is usually classified as suppressive, unequal, and exploited. III. SOCIAL CONTROL (In capitalist society) Capitalists/elites can use two methods in order to control workers Surplus Value difference between production costs (wages, material) and market price, where most of the value will be distributed amongst elites Ex. Let’s say it costs $10 to produce a chair and the chair price can be bought for $100 Equation to determine surplus value: $100 $10 = $90 ($90 is the surplus value. these two methods are available to increase surplus value: First Method: Absolute Value (having workers work longer hours) – if you can earn $10/hr at McDonald’s and McDonald’s earns $300, surplus value $300$10= $290 if you work 8 hr/day = $80/day; McDonald’s can earn $300 x $8= $2400 so the surplus value is $2400 $80 = $2320 (surplus value generated by worker) Marx said this method is not swift enough Second Method: Relative Value where surplus value can increase much faster than Absolute Value; this is where workers can acquire new skills, through new production techniques or new technology and helps to increase productivity Ex. (from example above) (starting price) : $10 vs $300 $80 vs $2400 initial surplus value = $2320 (w/ training) : $20 (worker pay/hr) vs. $500 (what corporation makes from worker) $160 (what worker makes) vs. $4000 new surplus value = $3840 $3840 $2320 = $1520 (after workers are trained, surplus value can make a big jump *far more effective method in increasing capitalist wealth than actually surplus value* 2 ideal method behind Relative Value False Consciousness formed around a highly distorted ideology if workers gather to start a social reform, they will be fired; this false ideology stems from education workers learn that they must be more productive (demonstration is a sign of weakness; other workers are considered as strong if they continue to work and ignore the social effort by not participating) traditional education will give the idea that protests are social weapons the majority of workers don’t want to take sick leave because they are afraid it will mean they are weaker than other employees and may be replaced by another worker (American ideology) Third ideal method behind Relative Value Alienation (separation process) which will ultimately prohibit workers from making choices about the production process; decisions are not formed by workers, but by capitalists (who expect workers to focus on only producing while they focus on sales) Fourth ideal method behind Relative Value Values (Capitalists can use education to endorse certain values.) *Values will either be supported or banned Ex. Achievement considered the most essential ‘value in America Polygamy prohibited in American society Final ideal method behind Relative Value Religion (can serve as an opiate can aid individuals in alleviating their pain, such as the Bible – in all, religion can assist in defending/neutralize social inequalities According to Marx opposed these 5 methods; in complete disagreement with “no personal property”; he believed all property should be shared amongst all social members this brought the view of communism no social classes would be formed in society, everyone will be considered equals Ex. Killing Field intellectuals were sent to concentration camps of all social classes in order to maintain a ‘classless society; communism will always contain massive killings Socialist Society Karl Marx said a capitalist society must eventually transform into a socialist society. He proposed that there are three types of socialism: 1. Reactionary Socialism most extreme/radical form of socialism, also the most violent. Every resourceful individual will be removed from society because they are considered a public threat. 2. Bourgeois Socialism less aggressive than reactionary socialism, but still quite violent; properties owned by the middle & upper class citizens will be reallocated (some European places contain this type of socialism or high test scores can help the government distribute resources involving highincome citizens (in Cambodia) 3. Christian Socialism resources are allocated by the Bible (Ex. Germany), the teaching of Bible will be used to redistribute social resources Germany accepts refugees from Syria and provide help to lowincome citizens based on the teachings of the Bible based on legal methods & moral aspects) To Marx, socialism isn’t the end for Marx; it’s actually a transitional society for communism. Communist Society (main goal) remain a classless society, no individual can become more powerful than the other All public properties will become nationalized (nationalization) Education will become free (major resource all people should be afforded the same opportunity to receive an education) Urban vs rural areas are joined; there is no difference, this idea of a communist society is: preventing others from enjoying certain areas only for themselves centralization of government government officials must be loyal and honest no areas are allowed to become overdeveloped (everything is to remain as one unit) Jobs every occupation will be assigned by the government everything will be organized by the government (such as restricted certain internet access or TV access) *In a communist society, the system will totally violate human nature. Second Theorist MAX WEBER Weber said society can be divided into interpersonal relationships (3 categories): I . Typology of Social Relationships 1. Communal Relationships individuals form relationships based on religion or other social traditions (jobs, political affiliations, relationships b/w family members);leads to traditional actions Main goal: more likely to act irrationally and this relationship is more likely to act in an irrational way 2. Charismatic Relationship centered around unique personalities or special qualities where other individuals may follow a person with these specific types of qualities Ex: “I think Bill Clinton is handsome, so I will vote for him”. Also the Charles Manson family and Jesus and his disciples; leads to charismatic actions Main goal follow irrational ways of being like a communal relationships 3. Corporational/Professional Relationship formed around social rules, where members of that group will establish various rules and positions when a situation can exist as a corporation (different people = different roles) relationship that exists among members is known as a corporate relationship, which can be found in huge companies, universities (such as UL) 3 Conflict Theorist Ralf Dahrendorf I. Quasi Groups 1. groups where individuals share similar understandings and obstacles/problems (Ex. racial minorities, wages earned) 2. Quasi groups cannot be altered into formal groups; this type of group will usually remain underdeveloped/undeveloped. Theory: The individuals of a formal group can eventually be altered into a formal group by certain factors. II. Factors that can help Quasi Groups Evolve into Formal Groups First Factor Relative Deprivation (can be strong (preferable ) or weak) feelings of social inequality (Ex. in relative deprivation, only some people possess things such as wealth, while other people will be poor) *Hypothesis 1: The stronger the feelings of social inequality, the higher the chance a quasi group will evolve into a formal group. (more likely to participate in social reforms like protest). *Hypothesis 2: The weaker the feelings of social inequality, the lower the chances of a quasi group evolving into a formal group opposite of relative deprivation (absolute deprivation) situation where quasi groups are not likely to convert to a formal group (Ex. in absolute deprivation, every social member is “equally poor”. Second Factor Social Networks (can be comprehensive (preferable) or limited) Social networks give individuals the opportunity to express similar feelings of unjust (if people are freely able to express similar inequalities, the more likely a quasi group can be turned into a formal group). (Ex. social media) *Hypothesis 1: The more comprehensive a quasi group is, the more likely this group can evolve into a formal group. (easier to share feelings) *Hypothesis 2: The more limited a quasi group is, the less likely a quasi group can be turned into a formal group. (not as simple to share feelings) Ex: In totalitarian countries the majority of individuals have “unequal feelings”, but most groups are not able to evolve into revolutionary groups In contrast: if negative feelings are widely shared likely to turn into revolutionary groups. Third Factor the ability to have social support (can be strong (preferable) or weak) the higher the chance of mobilizing social support, the higher the ability to a quasi group can transform into a formal group. (Ex. The Civil Rights Group African Americans garnered support from other racial groups because of their cause. *Hypothesis #1: The stronger the ability to have social support, the more likely a quasi group can be transformed into a formal group (Ex. receiving financial help from the public) *Hypothesis 2: The weaker the ability to have social support, the less likely it is for a quasi group to transform into a formal group. Fourth factor Leadership (can be strong/stable (preferable) or weak/unstable). *Hypothesis 1: The stronger and more stable a quasi group is the more likely it can evolve into a formal group. *Hypothesis 2: The weaker and more unstable a quasi group is less likely it can evolve into a formal group. Fifth Factor Relationship with Power Holder (can be peaceful/harmonious (preferable) or (Intense)) *Hypothesis 1: The more harmonious the relationship is maintained within a quasi group, the more likely a quasi group can evolve into a formal group. *Hypothesis 2: The more intense the relationship is maintained within a quasi group, the less likely a quasi group can evolve into a formal group. Sixth Factor Knowledge (2 types) (can be abstract or practical [preferable]) abstract knowledge theoretical knowledge; may be too ideal/ too realistic practical knowledge technical/applied knowledge use in order to alter the status quo (Ex. technology, providing scholarship to students ) need various types of professionals to transform the status quo *Hypothesis 1: The more practical the knowledge used by quasi groups, the more likely a quasi group can evolve into a formal group. *Hypothesis 2: The more abstract the knowledge used by quasi groups, the least likely a quasi group can evolve into a formal group. III. CONFLICT LEVELS BETWEEN OR AMONG INTERGROUPS/LEVELS OF INTERGROUP CONLFICT/VIOLENCE (Some formal groups will conflict with each other (can be determined by specific factors). 1 level Social distance can be remote/long OR short/remote Longer social distance results in higher possibility of conflict Shorter social distance leads to lower chance of possibility of conflict; minor at most This factor also involves psychological proximity (such as race, skin color, lifestyle, or social system (EX. in terms of language Great Britain, Mexico, Russia) Great Britain an individual is more likely to travel to this place because they speak a similar language there Mexico this area would be the second place to visit behind Great Britain because it’s also similar to English customs Russia this area would be the third place to visit behind Mexico because it’s not that similar to English customs *Hypothesis 1: The longer the social distance, the more likely high levels of conflict can occur within different groups. (Ex. KKK, Black Panthers) *Hypothesis 2: The shorter the social distance, the least likely levels of conflict can form within different groups. 2 level of Conflict: Social Boundary ( can be either flexible OR rigid) *Hypothesis 1: The more rigid a social boundary is, the higher the likelihood that intergroup contact will be very violent (this is a closed, exclusive society). (interclass contact suppressed, not allowed; classes remain separate) *Hypothesis 2: The more flexible a social boundary is, the lower the chances of intergroup contact being violent ; minor conflict at most. (Ex. upperclass individuals marrying lowerclass individuals. 3 level of Conflict: Ability to develop Agreement ( can be either strong OR weak ) *Hypothesis 1: The weaker the ability to develop an agreements amongst groups, the more likely conflict will arise and turn violent. *Hypothesis 2: The stronger the ability to develop an agreement amongst groups, the least likely conflict will arise and turn violent. 4th level of Conflict: Ability to Communicate (can be either strong OR weak) *Hypothesis 1: The weaker the ability to communicate amongst groups; the more likely intergroup conflict will be violent. *Hypothesis 2: The higher the ability to communicate amongst groups, the least likely intergroup conflict will be violent. 5 level of Conflict: Emotional Involvement (can be either deep or superficial) Deep Emotional Involvement personal commitment *Hypothesis 1: The deeper the emotional involvement among groups, the more likely intergroup conflict will be intense or violent. Superficial Emotional Involvement *Hypothesis 2: The more superficial the emotional involvement among groups, the least likely intergroup conflict will be intense or violent, minor at most. 6 level: Organizational Structure ( can be either complicated or simple) Complicated organizational structure will be timeconsuming Simple organizational structure will be timesaving, faster Hypothesis 1: The more complicated an organizational structure, the more likely intergroup conflict will be intense or violent. Hypothesis 2: The more simpler the organizational structure of competing groups, the more likely intergroup conflict will be intense/violent.