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Class conflict the root of social conflict


Social conflict or class conflict leads to huge sociological differences. It divides the people based on their class and the lower class people are often oppressed by the people who belong to a higher class in the society. According to Karl Marx, the main class conflict or class struggle was between the proletariat and bourgeoisie. Class struggle can be explained or understood by incidents such as when the bourgeoisie employs the proletariat to work in their factories to manufacture things that they need but the proletariat has no say in what they make or in deciding the price of those items. Karl Marx opposed this concept, he believed that the workers should decide where the goods would be sold and what would be its price as they make the things and the bourgeoisie earns the maximum profit by simply doing office work. The bourgeoisie exploits the working class by taking advantage of their condition. People who belong to the working class are in dire need of money to feed their families, so they cannot even protest against the injustice made to them by the bourgeoisie. So the rich people become richer by doing office work and the condition of the working class remains the same although they do all the hard and menial work that no one wants to do.

Social Conflict


Social conflict theory is a macro-oriented sociological paradigm that affects individuals as a hotbed of inequity that fuels conflicts and social transformation. The important aspects of this approach are that society is constructed in a manner that favours some at the cost of the rest, and that inequality is connected to criteria including ethnicity, gender, wealth, and ageing. It's all about the majority against vulnerable minority interactions, according to a social conflict theorist. Karl Marx is widely considered as the "Father" of the impression of social struggle (Fuchs, 2019). Karl Marx (1818-1883) was a national socialist, economist, philosopher, and sociologist from Germany. Marx suggested a model of capitalism predicated on the idea that humans are fundamentally creative creatures who must labour to stay alive. He also felt that humans had two kinds of interactions with the mode of subsistence, either they own it or they serve anyone who does. Marx believed that historical development was the catalyst for social revolution and that levels of society were the innovators (Fraser, 2017). Property relations, which are, in essence, the outcome of the manufacturing processes framework, establish the class classification, not wealth or prestige. Such a theoretical and ontological paradigm backed not just his study of social structure but also his argument that the bourgeoisie would be the final driver of social justice heralding a brighter future by articulating his theoretical constructs and perspective of events in comparison to individuals (Dukes, 2018). Marx stated in The Communist Manifesto that idealistic socialists made errors because the metropolitan working people had not yet grown adequately to see the relevance of class warfare. This moderate scolding, nevertheless, was followed immediately by much harsher condemnation. He claimed that establishing utopian experimentation societies to demonstrate a solution to the inherent unfairness of the capitalist economic system isolated the members from the community and rendered them useless (Alpidovskaya and Popkova, 2019).

Karl Marx viewed society differently, he viewed society as a structure in relation with the major classes and considered the struggle between the classes as a way to transform this oppressive structure. The concept of different classes and the differences between them as proposed by Karl Marx can be understood by the definition of the class given by him (Lemos, 2017). Karl Marx believed that class is based on the ownership of property. The ownership of a property provides a person with the power to exclude others from his property. So following the possession of the property the society can be divided into three classes namely the bourgeoisie who own types of machinery, factories and areas of mass production and their main source of income is profits. The second class of people are the landowners who own the lands and their source of income is rent and last but not least comes the third class of people, the proletariat who work for the bourgeoisie (Bortz, 2017). They own their labour and sell it for wages. Thus from the definition of classes, it is understood that class is determined by property and not by income or status. It depends on the distribution and consumption of resources and ultimately reflects the power relation between the classes. The social condition of any of the three classes depends on the property possessed by them. Thus it can be stated that class is a formal and theoretical relationship among different individuals of the society.

According to Karl Marx, the force that unites the people of the same class is defined as class interest. Karl Marx believed that people of different classes have different opinions, values and morals. Thus the bourgeoisie people would share common interests and beliefs, however, their interests and beliefs would be different from the interests of the proletariat (Garrett, 2018). The interests and beliefs of the landowners would also be different from the interests of the bourgeoisie people. Thus it can be said that the interest, values and beliefs vary from one class to another. It is also seen that as society matures the class interest of the landowners and bourgeoisie merges and remains the same to some extent but never merges with the interests of the proletariat. So it can be stated that the different activities in a society depend on the production and the difference in class interest between the proletariat and bourgeoisie (Moshiri, 2019). Eventually, the class conflicts were limited to individual factories but as capitalism started to take over, the class struggle and class conflicts were generalised across factories. The differences between the classes continued and the class conflicts also started to reflect in the societal levels. According to Karl Marx, the distribution of political powers depends on the distribution of capital. Thus classes become political forces. The bourgeois class holds the maximum share of capital in a society so the political powers enjoyed by them are much more than the people of the other two classes (Toms and Shepherd, 2017). The bourgeoisie uses this political power to protect their property and mend the rules and regulations of the society in their favour. They introduce laws that work in their favour and help them to continue the timely and unfair exploitation of the proletariat. Karl Marx predicted that the exploitation of the proletariat will continue to an extent that the class structure would collapse and the class struggle would be transformed into a revolution of the proletariat (Erne, 2019). With this revolution, the factories and machinery would be undertaken by the proletariat and the areas of production would come under the collective ownership of the general public. This would further wipe out the class divisions prevailing in society. Karl Marx explained class conflicts and their different elements are as follows-

Classes are authority connections established on commodity possession.

A class interprets groups of people with shared existence problems, thus involvements.

Classes are commonly contentious under their concerns.

Looming within contemporary society is the expansion of two contentious classes and their crusade, which ultimately comprehends all social associations.

Political organization and Power is an instrumentality of class crusade, and reigning impressions are its reflection.

Structural modification is a significance of the class crusade.

Karl Marx described a modern society in terms of alienation. Alienation can be defined as the condition in which an individual is isolated from his society or workplace. The four different kinds of alienation as described by Marx are as follows-

Alienation from the product of one’s labour

A worker who works in a manufacturing industry does not get the opportunity to relate himself to the product he works on. A worker who has no prior knowledge or skills in making a watch can also get a job in the watch factory. It does not matter if the worker makes watches or pencils (Liska, 2018). The only thing that matters to the worker is his job which he needs to feed his family. A worker may not even know the product for which he is working in the production line. For example, a worker who works in the assembly line of Hyundai assembling the windows and panels of the car may not have seen what the car looks like after the manufacturing is completed.

Alienation from the process of one’s labour

A worker is not responsible for the condition of his working place as he does not own the means of production. This means that the workers cannot change the order of work (TOLSTOY, 2020). For example, a person who is hired to work in Dominos cannot change the spices that are to be used for a specific pizza. The recipe for each item has already been fixed and there is no room for creativity. So a worker who is working in Rolls Royce cannot change the colour of seats or the material that is to be used in the dashboard as it has already been decided by the company’s top management. So it shows that everything is decided by the bourgeoisie and the workers must follow their orders without showing any creativity in their work.

Alienation from others

This shows that workers choose to compete among themselves rather than cooperating. The workers compete among themselves so that they can outperform the other workers to get incentives, bonuses and job security. These things create a rift among the workers as they are forced to compete with the other workers (Ajibo et al. 2018). This in turn works in favour of the bourgeoisie as it prevents the workers to unite themselves against the bourgeoisie.

Alienation from one’s self

The increase in industrialization results in the loss of connectivity between the worker and his job. There is nothing that ties the worker to his job other than the wages. The workers no longer take pride in their work and work as machines just for their wages and incentives.

Karl Marx proposed another idea which is the concept of false consciousness. This refers to a condition in which the ideas, beliefs and ideologies of a person are not in favour of their best interest. False consciousness is the ideology of the bourgeoisie that is imposed on the proletariat (Quoc, 2018). Ideologies such as competition over cooperation and hard work are the key to success benefits the bourgeoisie who are the owners of the industries. These ideologies prevent the workers from questioning their position in society.

Apart from Karl Marx Dahrendorf proposes two approaches to society namely Utopian and rationalist. The first approach proposes equilibrium and stability in the society whereas the second approach revolves around the conflict in the society. Both these approaches are social perspectives and show the different faces of society. He begins with an analysis of Marx's publications, an explanation of his paradigm, and a consideration of the socioeconomic shifts since Marx. A sociological assessment of Marx is followed by an explanation of the following theoretical writings on class. After completing these requisite intellectual tasks, Dahrendorf gives his perspective on class. Marx's distinguishing attribute of class (property ownership) is seen as a particular instance of a much more general authoritative connection, according to him. Individuals of social status are given the capacity to exert coercive power on others by the community. Homeownership, or the rightful ability to evict someone else from one's territory, is an example of such authority (Kühne, 2020). This management is an issue of legitimacy, which Dahrendorf describes as the likelihood that demand with certain substances would be implemented by particular individuals, as per Weber. Influence, which Dahrendorf believes is particular, is related to a function or status, whereas authoritativeness is connected with a job position. The power that is considered individual by Dahrendorf is connected with a role or position, while authority is associated with a position or a job. Discipline underpins the apparent credibility of power. It is a connection that has its beginnings in the social structure among people in concurrent groupings. Authority, meanwhile, is contradictory; it's always a powerful hierarchy on the one hand, and individuals are disenfranchised on the other. Some are superior and some in any compelling group are subservient. The expectations of leadership or subjugation involve several social positions. Those who play opposite roles have created structurally highly disputed to maintain or reflect the fundamental paradigm. The status quo, which guarantees them authority, benefits those who hold authoritative positions (Marx, 2019). Those who are subjected to this authoritarian force and who suffer as a result of it, on the other hand, are naturally hostile to it. Property relationships, according to Marx, produced interpretations, ideas, and standards. The circumstances of ownership of wealth, land, or one's labour establish social space; they are dualistic aspects that distribute people in their human relationships. Marx's conceptual world did not include categories like society, subjective interpretation, ethics, or conventions. Ideas, their nearest equivalent, were a symbol of social stratification. The social space is converted into a tension mechanism in the helix because different places in the field indicate conflicting perspectives. An orientation, in his opinion, is a mental inclination to desire specific outcomes. The links are connected through assimilation, socialisation, self-development, and practice, and form a circuit between necessities and active pursuits. It reflects our culture and civilization, as well as our social sphere. These opposing viewpoints are more than just opposing aspirations or desires; they are a collision of problems stemming. Apart from their varying interpretations of class, Dahrendorf and Marx have comparable perspectives on hidden concerns and the class condition. Marx considered classes as having a relationship with ownership, and this relationship characterised various life circumstances as well as competing hidden desires. No overt confrontational behaviour may occur. Individuals of competing classes may communicate as if they had no conflicting interests. As in the conflict helix, similar class circumstances are a required but not valid justification for evident resistance. Like in the conflict helix, understanding of antagonism and the stimulation of desires converts dormant desires into a new environment, one of class struggle, according to Dahrendorf and Marx. Attention is changed into a crisis in the helix, which is triggered by indoctrination, interaction, communications, management, and other factors. The change is accomplished similarly by Marx and Dahrendorf (Mittelman, 2017). The crucial element is that class awareness is created by certain occurrences (e.g., contact), agent (e.g., a leader), or mental shift in all three perspectives (e.g., class propaganda). The core of class ideologies is, in obviously, class struggle or struggle, the vocal resistance of classes. The necessity and use of political authority in the conflict are also acknowledged. Furthermore, all three models acknowledge the role of attenuation of material interests in increasing the density of the fight. This is characterized by Marx as the generalisation of distinct factory-specific class struggles and the growing homogeneity of classes; Dahrendorf describes it as the projection of position occupants, where the same individuals are in the same dominant relationships throughout organisations. In the same way, I approach overlapping. The dispute helix, according to Marx, Dahrendorf, and the friction helix, contributes to equilibrium and a framework of expectancies. According to Marx, class conflict, when combined with other ors (such as rising worker impoverishment), leads to the deepening of o class's dominance and, finally, the breakdown of the class society. The proletarian gains authority, classes are abolished, and the authority that was once required to safeguard the bourgeoisie progressively fades away (Dahrendorf, 2018). Class conflict is a lever of transformation for Dahrendorf. Except to argue that the shift in society involves a re-formation of hierarchical positions, the process of movement is uncertain.

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It has been concluded from the above that class conflict is the root of social conflict. Social conflict begins with the differences present among the different classes of the society. The above report throws light upon the division of classes in a society as proposed by Karl Marx. It tells us about how a society is divided into three classes based on the possession of land and property. It also tells us about the source of income for each class and how the political powers are distributed among the three classes. This essay also shows how political powers also depend upon the distribution of wealth and property and how the bourgeoisie uses that power to exploit the proletariat. This essay also explains that the working class has a very minimum or no say at all in the work which they do. The bourgeoisie do not give the working class any room for creativity and their only job is to follow the orders of the bourgeoisie. This essay also explains Marx’s alienation theory in detail and explains the concept of false consciousness. This essay also explains how the bourgeoisie uses the concept of false consciousness in their favour. The above essay also explains Dahrendorf’s approach to society and explains the two approaches namely the Utopian approach and the Rationalist approach.


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Lemos, C.M., 2017. Agent-based modeling of social conflict: From mechanisms to complex behavior. Springer.

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Toms, S. and Shepherd, A., 2017. Accounting and social conflict: Profit and regulated working time in the British Industrial Revolution. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 49, pp.57-75.

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