The sociological perspective that I chose to write about is known as the conflict theory, which is a theory that was developed by Karl Marx in order to illustrate how the issue of having conflict and stress within society influence the rate of change among that society. The conflict theory is composed of three assumptions known as competition, structural inequality, and social change. Competition assumes that society is in a state of indefinite conflict due to competition for limited resources, such as money, sexual partners, leisure, and so on, and that social structure is maintained by domination and power.
Social inequality assumes that there are different classes of people within society, and the most elite class, or those with money and power attempt to maintain their social status by any means possible, sadly by controlling those less fortunate, otherwise known as the poor. The quick, impactful, and most of the time beneficial change that takes place as a result of the conflict between competing interests in lieu of through adaption is the final assumption, known as social change. The conflict theory is a theoretical perspective that examines how people rise to the top while others end up at the bottom, critically analyzing competition and conflict, and how they impact social change.
An example of conflict theory would definitely be found within our educational systems. Firstly, conflict theory can be attributed to the way the education system operates, because not all students start equally. Equality of condition is extremely important, because those from richer and more prosperous families are surely more able to succeed, not because of their natural abilities, but because of their many, and early advantages. This shows that kids from higher income brackets from a very young age have a considerable advantage due to the conflict theory of society being divided into wage classes. This transfers into the school systems as higher income neighborhoods will have better schools and educators. In the long run, kids with more opportunities tend to get better educations and hold better, higher paying jobs in the future.
Therefore, conflict theory can be attributed to how the education system is set up, because even in schools separate from society, economic power still controls how students are separated into social classes. Secondly, conflict theory can be attributed to the way the education system operates, because not every student has the same goals. The acceptance process for universities causes conflict in that it demands minimum marks for almost every program. This causes kids in high school to compete for marks in order to get accepted to their preference of schools and programs. We compete in order to go to a specific school in the hopes to acquire a diploma/degree, and one day receives a higher paying job than our peers. The goal of every person in society that’s in school, or otherwise, is to live a life that is at least as comfortable as the life they lead growing up. Conflict theory can be attributed to the way the education system operates, because not everyone has the same goals in life, yet we all compete to be more successful than one another.
Thirdly, Conflict theory can be attributed to the way the education system operates, because not everyone in society has the same morals and attitudes. The education system is a competition for the highest grades, and this competition causes some people to study harder, but it also causes more people to cheat on important tests and assignments. Economic factors in society push us to constantly want very high marks and this pushes people to truly find out what their attitudes and morals are, and what direction they will take in order to achieve high marks. Therefore, conflict theory is prevalent in the education system, because it shows that conflict arises from students having different attitudes, beliefs and morals. Conflict theory is definitely a social core perspective within our educational systems. This is due to different economic situations, different goals from students, and different attitudes and morals among students and teachers. Conflict theory, based upon society’s obsession with power and fear of change, is the most fitting theory in regards to the education system.