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Conflict Theory

Oleh :
Dita Marselyna
Nurullita Addhyni
Siti Rabi Reski Tallama
Triastama Wiraatmaja

Karl Marx(19th century): social conflict as the basis

of society & social change

In social science: Conflict theory and Marxism are

interchangeably used.
When the Industrial Revolution, social and economy

classes were forming. Economic power in industrial

capitalism controlling the poor.

Marx wanted to redress the inequalities of

power into classless society.

Thus, if individuals could be freed from

oppresive conditions, then they would be able

to pursue higher interests, such as in economy
and education.


Conflict & tension : based on facts of social life

(dissagreements over goals & values, struggles

over resources & power)
Some critiques of structural fuctionalism :
1. materialist view of society (labor & economic

2. critical view of status quo
3. dynamic model of history change
(transformation of society)

Social Changes

Dialetical Model

Thesis - Antithesis


Marxism are widely used as an evident in communists & socialist systems
which represented in various ways.
a. W.E.B.DuBois : use marxist class consiousness to study racial inequality in
African American society.
Then he came up with a term named double consiousness entitled
right & freedom as Americans but denied as African
heritage caused
tension for African-Americans and
society(1st Amendment about
b. Martin Luther King Jr. With the famous Civil Rights Movement

With his famous speech I Have a Dream- 1963 (Challenged

Segregation and racial discrimination in 1950s-1960s)

Critical theory is the cutting edge of social theory.

This theory also believes that the importance of

mass communication and popular culture as

powerful ideological tools in capitalist societies.
When consumerism values grow rapidly, then it
will become capitalism declining personal
freedom and democracy value.
Critical theory influence leftist thinkers.
Conflict theory influence feminism & critical
race theory to study contemporary inequalities of
gender & race.

Conflict theory argues that just because some social

arrangements exists, it doesnt mean it necessarily

beneficial for society.
The theory challenges the status quo and

emphasizes the need for social upheaval and

Conflict theory can be criticized for overlooking

these controversial dimensions of social reality.

Marx great contributions : praxis taken on

intellectual understanding.
(Intellectual : not only theorize but act on what
they believed).

In 20 century, this theory has been important

in achieving change through many social


Conflict theory is useful in understanding :

1. the macro-level social issues (systematic

discrimination >< minority groups)

2. the micro-level personal interactions (boss ><