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4 Tutorials that teach Social Conflict Theory
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Social Conflict Theory

Social Conflict Theory

Author: Sadie Pendaz

This lesson will explain, define and discuss the key ideas and the basic components of social conflict theory, identifying it as a macro-level orientation. Specific note will be made to discuss Karl Marx (The Communist Manifesto) and Max Weber (The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism) as examples of theorists in the conflict tradition. C. Wright Mills' concept of the power elite will also be defined.

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Terms to Know
C.Wright Mills

An American sociologist famous for the "sociological imagination" and for the concept of the power elite.

Karl Marx

​An economist and sociologist who argued that class is the fundamental inequality in society.

Power Elite

​A small group composed of the top corporate, political, and military people.

Social Conflict Theory

An approach to social theory that argues that society is characterized by various inequalities and conflicts that cause people to act socially, producing change.

​Macro-Level Orientation

​A zoomed out look at the structures and institutions that shape society.

​Max Weber

​Renowned sociologist who theorized that conflict in society was also about power and social prestige.