Surprisingly, various human societies populating the Earth have one similar trait: they argue to reach mutual understanding. This is not stipulated by the cultural heritage and values; it is rather caused by the human need to attain truth, and this necessity is perfectly framed with the socio-cultural aspects. As such, there are two perspectives – social order perspective and a conflict perspective – that make the entire social system work correctly for the sake of humanity and society in particular. Sears provides several examples of social order perspective and a conflict perspective. The example of social order perspective is presented by the theory of Durkheim’s and the works of Marx and Engels that are considered to be the conflict perspective by Sears.
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The conflict theory is presented by Sears through Marx’s work that speculated on the conflict within a totalitarian, communistic society. A perfect example drawn by Sears is the unnecessary requirement to suppress creativity within the communist society layers. The problem of the suppression of creativity comes directly from the form of the socialist social order. In his book A Good Book, in Theory: A Guide to Theoretical Thinking Sears claims that the example of social inequality, the self-evident necessity to produce conflict, and the subsequent oppression of creativity (due to the social order described by Marx) is a failure as per the nature of a conflict theory. (Sears, p. 84). Moreover, the conflict theory seems not to be working within the circumstances of socialist society because due to detaining the development by not letting the conflict play its part. Namely, impossibility of exercising a conflict in the society blocks the inevitable ultimate realization of human potential. In its turn this does not presuppose transforming the society further on, framing new social relations.
Durkheim claimed the society to be a lively functioning organism. Functionalism applies to attribute every feature and practice to every specific stable system. Also, Durkheim speculated that the main form of social conflict was a crime, saying that crime is an integral part of each well-functioning society. If the entire society supports mutual conscious idea, in this case it is the notion of crime, and then this society can be considered a healthy society. Moreover, in order to define a separately taken society as perfectly functioning one, it is necessary to note that crime and ultimately law obedience are not only the mutually accepted way to strengthen security and safety. It rather speaks for the high moral development within the social order and signals about the productive evolution of moral merits.
“[a]ll knowledge has bias embedded in it, and human understanding will be affected by where we sit in the social universe. Nonetheless, sociology must satisfy the rigors of scientific investigation by providing concrete evidence to support or refute theoretical constructs” (Naiman, p. 24) Therefore, it is necessary to understand that society needs alternate changes constantly to develop and evolve morally and culturally. To answer which of the theories is more convincing, it is decidedly a conflict theory because the thought thrives on conflict, indeed. The conflict is what makes the society work for the future unknown horizons of well-being due to the nature of debates and the ultimate decisions. As such, my general predisposition to the conflict model is evident because it might serve a great deal in developing the societies globally and embed changes to the entire world’s perception of political, cultural, economical orders.
Naiman, Joanne. How Societies Work: Class, Power and Change in a Canadian Context. Ontario: Irwin Publications. 2008. Print.
Sears, Alan, and James, Cairns. A Good Book, In Theory: A Guide to Theoretical Thinking. North York: Higher Education University of Toronto Press. 2005. Print.