The theory. Karl Marx is a theorist who

The two theories aim
to understanding the human behaviour however are used as oppositions for their
different arguments. The consensus theory believes that the social order is
through the shared norms and belief systems of people. These theorists believe
that the society and its equilibrium are based on the consensus or agreement of
individuals. However, conflict theorists believe that the order of society is
based on the dominant and powerful people in society. The emphasises the clash
with in different groups of society.

Karl Marx and some
feminists believe in the conflict theory. Karl Marx is a theorist who created
the conflict theory, item B states that Marx looked at the ‘conflicts between groups of
unequal power, status or wealth’. Marx questioned the freedom of individuals,
he looked in to the modes of production and economic classes. The modes of
production are feudalism, capitalism and socialism. The 19th Century
was a capitalist society where the bourgeoise were a minority of the society
and the proletariat were the majority. The bourgeoise controlled society as
they were in control of the necessities which the proletariats needed. The
proletariats only had their labour to offer which made them dependent on the
bourgeoisie for income. This portrays the economic inequality between the
two.  Karl Marx believed that one group
exploiting another meant planting the seeds to their own destruction as each
group was gaining something from the other. This led to the idea of the thesis
and the antithesis. The thesis was that the working class must provide the
labour, the desire of the working class to remove this status quo was called
the antithesis. The conflict of the two sides would lead to a synthesis which
would be the compromise of the two, which can be shown as the working class
taking on higher roles such as managerial positions. However, this could lead
to two opposing sides, which can be shown in history by equal rights for
African Americans and the women’s suffragette movements. These movements
created tension which changed social norms. The conflict theory explains the
dramatic changes in society but doesn’t include the stability and unity of

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The consensus
approach was created by functionalists who believe that society runs smoothly,
and social order is maintained because individuals give consent to follow
societies norms and values. Consensus theorist view society in a positive way
and believe that institutions e.g. schools, families and media teach us to have
similar aspirations and not think about oneself.  As a result, this creates social solidarity
which allows us to live in a harmonious society. 


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