Social Conflict Theory

The social conflict paradigm is a theory based on society being a complex system characterized by inequality and conflict that generate social change. Personal life experiences dictate me to believe this theory is true. Discussion of the theory in question and how it pertains to myself will be covered in the paper. Social conflict can be seen all over the world we live in: in sports, politics and normal social engagements. The main point I have experienced with this theory would be the fact that I don’t come from a rich, powerful, and prestigious family, which in turn limits my chances of being successful. Karl Marx studied social conflict His entire life and wanted to reduce social inequality. Wheatley-2 The social conflict theory can be described as favoritism. Society tends to show favoritism to the prestigious members of that particular society. Social inequality is shown throughout the world from situations of race, ethnicity, gender, and age. These factors may dictate wealth, schooling, power, and prestige. The social conflict paradigm views the patterns that benefit some people more than it would others, due to their social standings. Karl Marx was a sociologist who embraced the social conflict paradigm. Marx made his main goal to not just understand society but to reduce social inequality. Karl Marx devoted his life to explaining a contradiction in society. That contradiction was “How in a society so rich, so many could be poor.” Marx makes a good point here: If America is supposed to be a rich country and a free country where the streets are paved with gold and opportunity is knocking around every corner, then why is it that there are so Wheatley-3 Many poor people in America? The answer is social conflict. America does not provide the same opportunities to people from a poor family as they do with people who come from a rich and prestigious family. Two people with the same academic backgrounds and qualifications may apply for a job; however, one comes from a poor family and the other from a well-known rich family. Through the social conflict that exists in the world the person from the rich family has a much grater chance of receiving the job than does the person from the poor family. The same can be said of a person of color and a white person. The typical African-American family earns about 54% of the income of the average white family. Why is this? African-Americans are offered the same public schooling as whites, but are looked at in a different way. The majority of blacks are not given the same Wheatley-4 opportunities as whites partially due to the fact that they are fighting an uphill battle. Just like coming from a poor family a colored person would lose out in a battle over a job to a white person more often than not. Thus the social conflict theory is proven by the way society runs. Social conflict has affected myself in the way that since I do not come from a rich family background I need to work much harder to achieve my goals than I would if I did come from a rich background. My eyes see social conflict when I hear about people from rich backgrounds that don’t have to work while in school, which frees up more time and makes it easier to concentrate on grades. This can lead to a more prestigious college, which then leads to a more prestigious job. I don’t have this advantage so I have to work my way thorough school. This disadvantage leads to less time to put into work, which means lower grades. My situation of managing to work forty hours a Wheatley-5 week and taking full time classes is tough; whereas if I was from a powerful family I would not have to deal with the burden of working and would be able to concentrate on my studies more. Social conflict also tells me that I am better off than others who aren’t even able to attend college due to their backgrounds. A lot of people upon leaving high school have to jump in the work force right away and support their families. This makes it hard to change their social stratification and provide a better