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Dellendo Farquharson 0400729 BENG2 ART Sociology According to Conflict Theorists, Society is an arena for inequality that generates conflict and change. Discuss this statement using four well developed examples from within your own society.

The Conflict Theory is a social theory which emphasizes a person's or group's ability to exercise influence and control over others, thereby affecting social order. It posits that individuals and groups struggle to maximize their benefits, thus contributing to social changes. Some of the major conflicts experienced in Jamaica are: Denomination/Religion Rivalry among social class Organizational Conflict Society Dominants Race and Ethnicity This essay will look at the last for types of conflict that exist in our society today.

Society is an arena for inequality that generates conflict and change

The phrase, Society is an arena for inequality that generates conflict and change, suggests that there is always rivalry among society due to the fact that people are not at the same point on the social ladder in society. It therefore means that society is seen as a competitive entity, one that is always competing for limited resources, such as money, leisure and even sexual partners in a struggle to bring about social changes. In our society people engage in conflict daily so as to gain more power than others. One of the basic conflicts we experience is that of inequality among the social class. Our society is made up of three types of social classes, the upper, middle and lower, which gives one group more power over the other. When an individual is perceived to be a part of a high ranked class they usually own a lot of property or wealth, as a result they can afford the latest cars, the fanciest houses etc.

Controversially, if one does not form a part of the upper class then they evidentially falls in a lower class which means that there is limited resources available to such an individual. Likewise, they do not own much property and perhaps cannot give their children the best of education that an upper class member could afford. This fosters conflicts among the societal classes and sometimes results in violence, maliciousness and theft. Most times people within society are not satisfied with their social level and would like to be recognised as the better part of society. This then results in a change in social behaviour towards each other whether it is negative or positive. According to Marxists theory, he believed that the original conception on ownership of property was the most essential determinant of the class structure, thus when one acquire a large number of property they are then believed to be wealthy and falls in the upper class. Another dominant example of conflict is that of organisational conflict which can exists between management and staff or among staff members. Conflict at the workplace is most likely brought about due to resistant to change. As an example the manager of Seprod Jamaica planned to change its entire factory operation to be more technological so as to increase efficiency. Most employees may become resistant to this change base on their perception of changes in the factory operation. Thus they might think that upgrading the factory process by bringing in technology will cause their job function to be replaced or obsolete with that of machines, thereby making them redundant. This can bring about various organisational conflicts such as strikes, if employees perceived that they are being treated unfair or unequally, they may go on strike to regain their right to power. Also there is conflict about who dominates a particular sector of the society, hence different social classes tend to form different ideologies based around promotion of their own class' welfare. Different groups will struggle in conflict over what they think is right, what the norms are, and their ideologies. Higher classes have more abstract ideologies, while subordinated classes ideas reflect the want in their own lives. The ideas of the ruling class are the ruling ideas, where the ruling material force is the ruling intellectual force. This is evident in the constant struggle for power between the two leading political parties in Jamaica. The PNP struggles for power as well as the JLP are struggling to regain its seat as leaders. This poses social conflicts on society as majority of party supporters are of the mindset that they will be look on as inferior if they are not a part of the ruling party and hence tries to tear the other down. Finally there is conflict about race and ethnicity. As it is now, people are no longer comfortable with the way they were made, thus they have implemented various pharmaceutical products to enhance their makeup, such as bleaching, breast implants etc. Much like in the class system,

groups in this system are ranked by their prestige and power i.e. how beautiful they think they look. This means that if a certain race or ethnicity has more education, prestige, and power then it is considered the better race or ethnicity which creates conflict causing individual to change their lifestyle or even envy a particular race or ethnic group. Consequently, all these groups seek to gain power and use it to reshape society the way they see it best. Thus it can be argued that change occurs as a result of conflict between competing interests rather than through adaptation.

Tischler, H.L (2007). Introduction to sociology 9th Ed. Thompson-Wadsworth, Belmont USA