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Different Theories on Conflict

Some define conflict as a struggle for social status, or for scarce resources. Conflict even arises in the form of communication. Conflict in communication is functional when norms and values of the culture are stable, and individual opinions and viewpoints are respected; however, conflict is dysfunctional when it becomes emotionally charged. With the scope of violence and technology changing dramatically in the twentieth century, knowledge of conflict different theories has increased considerably.

1. Emotional Conflict

People's aspirations and gratifications can be a host for conflict. Hostility, for instance, in rational or non-rational behavior has a much bigger role than incompatible differences in terms of conflict. In hostility, it no longer remains that two parties have incompatible differences or goals; it also implies both parties have resistance toward the other party's thought or principle. Rational behavior promotes a compromise of outcome. One must determine possible outcomes, payoffs of each outcome and then determine the suitable outcome for both parties. Non-rational behavior warrants a specific goal of one party, and intention to maintain that goal can get carried away by hostile emotions.

Social Conflict

The German theorist and political activist, Karl Marx, developed a theory that emphasizes a materialistic view of history and a more critical stance toward existing social arrangements within political and economic structures of society. The Marxist view is on the materialist premise that the most important determining factor of social life is the people's labor that provides basic necessities of life such as food, clothing and shelter. Marx thought that the social organization within labor has a strong impact on all aspects of society, and maintained that everything of value in society is a result of human labor. Karl Marx's view was that working men and women create their own existence.

Technological and Scientific Conflict


One theory of conflict involves the impact of technological and scientific progress on social interaction within history and the homo sapien future, forcing the homo sapien to live in confusion. Scientific knowledge and inventions can lead to weak family ties that cripple social mobility because of a lack of physical communication. The quality of life, satisfaction and life standards are lowered, leading to such things as a high divorce rate. A better life through science and technology has actually increased conflict in many areas of the world under the principle of change as "modernization" or "post-modernization."