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Word Count: 515
History has always been fueled by conflict History books are filled with conflicts of the have and have-nots For example look at the early history of America it was a fight between the oppressed colonists and the aristocratic British Our independence was gained over a conflict Most of the change that has occurred over time has usually come out of conflict In sociology one would call this conflict perspective Schaefer and Lamm define conflict perspective as a sociological approach which assumes that social behavior is best understood in terms of conflict or tension We see society constantly struggling within itself Ive used the American Revolution as an example of conflict however not all conflict need be in the form of war and riot Conflict arises in many forms of communication whether it be argument debate or even labor negotiations There have been many proponents of social conflict perspective none better known however than Karl Marx Karl Marx was the leader in learning and understanding how conflict fueled our society and usually changed it for the better His argument concerned the bourgeois and the proletarians or in other words the oppressor and the oppressed He believed that this class struggle existed around the time of the industrial revolution He saw how the workers were being treated and knew that the exploited would eventually overthrow their exploiters However a new class of exploiters would arise thus continuing the cycle Although Marx has invariably shaped our views of conflict theory it should be noted that there are some differences Marx believed that after the struggle life would become almost a utopia without conflict Conflict sociologists believe change and conflict occur all the time and always will occur and that changes that take place may be positive They also believe people to be easily shaped by authority coercion and power It should also be noted that conflict sociologists use a macro-level approach In other words they study large groups
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