Sociology of conflict: causes, functions, types
What is conflict
This is a collision of completely opposite positions, views, goals of the subjects who have to interact. Conflict flares up only when people realize that their interests are contrary to the interests of other groups.This inconsistency can affect any area of life: be it an economy, religion, politics or culture.
The theory of conflict in sociology
We began to investigate this problem several centuries before our era. In ancient China, philosophers pointed out that without the struggle of opposites the further development of both nature and society is impossible. Ancient Greek thinkers created a whole doctrine about the role of contradictions in the emergence of new things and concepts. N. Machiavelli examined the different-level conflicts and noted their positive influence on the development of society in one of the works devoted to the history of Rome. More detailed contradictions studied A. Smith. In his work, published in the second half of the 18th century, he wrote that the conflict arises from the division of society into classes.Between them there is a constant economic rivalry. In a new way, the sociology of conflict was comprehended by G. Hegel.He considered social polarization between the working class and enrichment to be one of the reasons for the controversy. And only after the 50s of the 20th century, the conflictological direction in sociology was fully formed. Since that time, a deeper and more comprehensive consideration of this problem began. L. Krisberg, R. Dahrendorf, L. Koser and other representatives of the new direction in their works for the first time thoroughly reviewed and analyzed the conflict as the norm of relations in society.
Causes of controversy
Sociology of conflict considers divergence of views as the starting point from which the problem situation begins. It identifies several possible causes of disagreement.
1. Opposite values. Particularly acute conflicts that have arisen for this reason, occur where there is a clash of cultures.
2. Ideology. Conflicts often flare up as a result of the collision of several dominant worldviews.
3. Inequality in social and economic terms.
Functions of contradictions
Sociology of conflict points to disagreements as an indispensable condition for the development of society. That is, the contradictions perform not only a destructive function, but also a number of positive ones.
1. Communicative and binding. With its help, participants in a conflict situation realize what the main contradictions are, and learn to find a way out or adapt.
2. Relaxing. The conflict serves as a psychological relaxation of the tension that has developed between the opposing sides.
3. Consolidating. This function is derived from the previous two. It manifests itself when, in the course of resolving a conflict situation, its participants begin not to compete, but to cooperate.
Classification of contradictions
Sociology of conflict classifies disagreements according to several criteria. So, differentiation depending on the participants of the contradiction is as follows.
1. Personal conflict. Occurs on the level of consciousness of the individual.
2. Interpersonal differences. Occur between several people from different groups or from one.
3. Intergroup contradictions. Occur between several associations that protect opposing interests.
4. Conflicts of ownership.They occur when people enter at once into two opposing groups, which at the same time pursue a single goal.
5. Conflicts with the external environment.