Sociology of Conflict Theory
ALTHOUGH found both in classical and modern periods, it is to the latter-day exponents of the conflict theory that this article devotes special attention. The theory emerges with such amazing frequency to fulfil a specific function which calls for scrutiny. It is hot unusual to come across theorists parading it as radical, and representing Marxism as nothing more than a mere component of its broad framework.
The major function of modern conflict theory is to defend capitalism equally in its incipient forward-looking phase as in its later parasitic decadence. A note of realism becomes evident in observing the presence of conflicting interests in society. Not a conflict theorist himself, Marx has no use for such concepts as "conflict of interests". He pointed out the positive historical role of capitalism and its contributions analyzing at the same time the contradictions that develop within the system. Further development of new productive forces (new in contrast to the feudal), essentially a concomitant of capitalism is hampered by the existing capitalist production relations. These relations are consciously and violently violated by the productive forces in a bid for release to facilitate higher development. The contradiction takes the form of class conflict. A successful class conflict results in a radically different social structure. Secondly, the content of the term 'conflict' as used by Marx is basically different from