Disadvantages of conflict theory
Conflict theorists believe that social life refers to the dominance of particular group over another. In spite of this, politics is a mere rhetorical justification for that group’s control. Conflict theory is the fundamental basis of interpreting social life. The theory is based upon the rhetoric of modern politics, most importantly, individuals controlling the discussion. In the view of conflict theorists, stratification is dysfunctional and harmful to the society. It benefits the wealthy and powerful individual rather than the poor. Precisely, social stratification creates a system of losers and winners maintained from the top most leadership. Losers and less fortunate individuals have no chance to compete thus remaining at the bottom. For instance, wealthy merchants give low wages to their maids and nannies to stick at the bottom regardless the work performed. The nannies and maids earn just peanuts to save for a better life. The entire process ends in a competition which suppresses the poor.
The primary disadvantage of conflict theory is the trickle-down mechanism based on capitalism. It is an economic system established on free market competition. The system benefits the rich and assumes the plight of the poor. The theory ascertains the system as the best way of spreading wealth across the society. Institutions that practice conflict theory often establish welfare either by direct subsidies or tax breaks in support of large firms. Apparently, they assume the market will provide the subsidies to the rich as well as the poor through fair competition. In regards to these benefits, conflict theorists would support that the offers have been used to support and solidify stratification patterns which maintain the royal family wealthy.
The second demerits of conflict theory are the virtue of underestimating people’s ability to grow economically. Functionalists criticize the approach of conflict theory of supporting the needy to rise from the society. According to functionalists, if the society wants to succeed, they can achieve their target through successive hard work. Offering incentives and charity gifts to enhance economic success is a fallacy and often fails. In other words, people do not largely act out of economic self-interest. However, it is individual’s self-determination and urges for better living standards that drive people towards their ambitions. According to functionalists’ perception, conflict theory encourages and tolerate laziness amongst the poor. The less fortunate individuals within the society wait for government aids and subsidies rather than exploring the available alternatives for a decent life.
Conflict theory is perceived as a way of inciting and dividing the society. The theory identifies significant differences existing between classes and how these conflicts drive society. Most notably, it highlights the dominance exercised by the capitalists over the labor force. According to conflict theory, education system primarily uploads the values and beliefs of the capitalist and not the proletariats. The theory highlights how the conflicts start in the workforce and consciously installed right from pre-school stages. Conflict perspectives enhance the society to readjust its values to accommodate the needs of its members.
In conclusion, conflict theory was coined by Karl Marx, who observed massive changes within the society from the impact of industrial revolution. Marx opposed Durkheim’s factualist perspective of working harmoniously within the society. He acknowledged conflicts among various groups as the fundamental moving force in the society. In his observation, Marx realized that some groups were accumulating more wealth and power at the devastating expense of the poor. Shockingly, the society is set up in favor of individual with economic strengths. Despite the various benefits of conflict theory, Marx was also faulted in his observation since the theory assumes to appreciate the benefits of cohesive and harmonious society.