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1Name and outline one theory of social change The Conflict Theory of social change centers upon the premise that radical change in society is constant and inevitable as existing social conditions will always contain the beginnings for a different future The conflict theory has its origins in the writings of Karl Marx Working in the late nineteenth century Marx believed that all societies were primarily influenced by their economic base and specifically by the relationships that exist between the different economic classes He argued that the potential for social change was built into these relationships because it was these which evolved as individuals and groups struggled to maximise their benefits Marx believed that control in society was held by elite and economically-powerful groups who maintained social order for as long as it suited their own interests However this social dominance would eventually lead to a crisis point where the exploited the working class would challenge the exploiting the elite groups and the existing social order It is at this point that conflict between the classes becomes the mechanism for social transformation According to Marx this class conflict would eventually lead to both the overthrow of capitalism and the establishment of a communist society Modern conflict theory is based upon the same principles as Marxs theory however modifications have been made While Marx focused on class conflict as the catalyst for social change modern theorists believe that conflict based upon other sources - such as political ethnic or ideological disputes - can also play a part Although these conflicts are not class-based they can result in change when dissatisfied groups assemble their resources to achieve their aims The three primary assumptions of modern conflict theory are 1Competition - modern theorists believe that competition is at the heart of all social relationships 2Structural inequality - inequality is built into all social structures Individuals and groups that benefit from any particular structure struggle
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