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Conflict Functionalism.

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Introduction

Conflict Functionalism Conflict functionalism is a way of looking at society. It is a perspective. It is the opposite of structural functionalism. Where structural functionalism stresses the existence of groups cooperating with each other and working together, conflict functionalism stresses how groups exist and compete with each other. There are many different types of critical functionalism but one of the main views was developed around the idea Marxism. Marxism was idea developed by a man named Karl Marx during the Russian Revolution. Marx regarded people as both the product and producers of society. They make society what it is through their own actions. Therefore he believed that history was product of human self-creation. Yet humans are also the product of society. Society shapes us into what we are and how we behave. Karl Marx believed that harmony could never last forever and that conflict would occur. ...read more.

Middle

This means that changes in the infrastructure produce change in the superstructure. Historical societies all contain contradictions. They cannot survive forever in one existing form. It involves exploitation. Exploitation is when somebody runs a company and makes a lot of money with the company he runs. He doesn't pay his workers very much and keeps the profit. He is exploiting his workers as they are making the product for him. This is generally said to be one social group exploiting another. In feudal society this means the lords and nobles exploiting the peasants and the workers. Today upper class exploit the lower class. This creates conflict as one group is gaining expense from the other. Marx taught us that only labour produces wealth. Yet the workers are well below the value of wealth. ...read more.

Conclusion

The tension and conflict created generates a major dynamic change. People are unaware of these contradictions throughout their daily life. This is because of their consciousness or their view on reality. Society lives under a false consciousness. This is where people believe that things are happening fairly and do realise that they are being exploited. This is largely shaped by the relationships involved in production. It is the social relationship that creates the being. Religion, law, concepts, terms and ideas shape social relationships. These are all considered normal; this is why people do not realise their consciousness on social relationships. This is why when law makes it legal to own private property and religion justifies economic arrangements people believe it. They are then living under a false consciousness. This is because the majority of the society do not realise the contradictions they contain. This distorts reality as it fails to realise the basic principle conflicts that exist in the human world we have created. ...read more.

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