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Karl Marx Conflict Theory

Autor:   •  May 29, 2018  •  1,047 Words (5 Pages)  •  250 Views

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This perspective that the two classes depend on each other and work together to create equilibrium is the fundamental view of functionalism. Functionalism is an alternative to Karl Marx’s conflict theory, which proposes the idea that there are necessary structures that make up a society and help keep it stable. Functionalists argue that some work is more important than others because they require skill and specialized training, and so there is an imbalance in society but it is reasonable. Inequality is necessary for society to thrive in the eyes of a functionalist. One similarity that the two opposing perspectives do have is that neither deny there is an existing conflict and that it’s almost inevitable. So why is there an ongoing conflict and struggle among the classes?

Many conflict theorists would argue that this division would continue only because ‘the rich stay rich and the poor stay poor’. One group has more privilege and access to better schools, better doctors, ect. Whereas the latter group aren’t necessarily living the American dream; they must work hard in able to afford putting food on the table, a roof over their head, and simple leisure’s. The rich are already at an advantage; Bobby can afford Yale tuition because his parents are well-off, after graduation Bobby is likely to get a well-paying job and so the cycle continues. The poor are less likely to access higher education and higher paying jobs so they are less likely to access power and wealth.With this argument, I can somewhat agree with fundamentalism in that this imbalance in our society can promote motivation for the workers, a yearning for success, and the discipline that comes with hard work. After all, we all want to live the ‘American dream.’ However I also believe that the rich should not turn a cheek and do their part in whichever way they can. The question is, could we live in a classless society? Or will the divide remain? That is the main concern with conflict theorists and fundamentalists. A Marxist would believe in a utopia where every person is given equal treatment and opportunity, no one is at an advantage and we would live in a classless society. A fundamentalist, on the other hand, would say that no such thing can exist and that the society we live in is how it is meant to be.


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