Essay Sample on Conflict Theory, Race and Class Stratification

Published: 2022-05-02
Essay Sample on Conflict Theory, Race and Class Stratification
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Racism Discrimination Conflict resolution
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 672 words
6 min read

(a) Meaning of Conflict Theory

The conflict Theory was brought about by Karl Marx, which states that the society is a state of perpetual conflict which is brought about by competition arising from limited resources. The theory further holds that social order in the society is maintained by domination and power, rather than conformity and consensus. This theory also asserts that those with wealth and power by use of all possible means mainly by suppressing the poor and the powerless.

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(b) Race stratification according to conflict theory

It has been observed that ethnic and racial inequality result from the endless competition for resources such as power, wealth, status and other valuable social resources in the society. Two or more groups compete for these resources. If the minority groups or races were to acquire power, they would with time start to demand higher pay and improved working conditions. The dominant races occupy the prestigious positions in the society and have better working conditions with hefty salaries. If the minority races were to occupy these positions, they start demanding for better pay. That is why the dominant races and ethnicities don't allow the minority races to reach to such levels. Another characteristic feature with the minority races is constant conflicts among themselves. This is to the benefit of the dominant races. That is how the minority races are unable to find solutions to their inequality and are unable to fight the dominant race.

(c) Class stratification according to conflict theory

According to Karl Marx, conflict arises because of the existence of two main classes in society. The first class comprises of the societal members who holds much of the wealth and means. These, Karl Marx referred to them as the bourgeoisie. The second class comprises of the working class or the poor which he referred to as the proletariat. Karl Marx in his conflict theory states that in a capitalist society, the bourgeoisie, who form the minority in the society, tend to use their influence to oppress the proletariat who are the majority class.

The uneven distribution in conflict theory was believed to be maintained by ideological coercion where the rich and wealthy would force acceptance of the present conditions of the poor and the working class. Karl Marx further asserted that as the poor and the working class was subjected to worse conditions, a conscious condition would bring the inequality to light and in the long run result in a revolt. The conflict would repeat itself if the conditions were adjusted to address the concerns of the poor and the working class.

(d) The premise of the film - The Dark Side of Chocolate

The Dark Side of Chocolate is a documentary that highlights the plight of children who have been subjected to trafficking to work in the cocoa plantations. Most of the children are aged between eleven and fifteen years. The children come from poor backgrounds in the West African states of Burkina Faso, Mali, and Guinea among others. The children are set to work in the Ivory Coast. The government officials seem unaware of this child trafficking and instead claim that all those who enter Ivory Coast come for vacation. Indeed, the government official contacted is unaware of any child labor in the cocoa plantations and states of a law in place formulated to protect children against trafficking and child labor. The companies that use cocoa as a raw material in the manufacture of chocolate and other related products are also unaware of any child trafficking. There are many children working in the cocoa plantations from the video. The children use machetes to harvest mature cocoa. The children's condition is deplorable.

From the film, it can be observed that child trafficking and child labor are evident. The governments in the West African nations seem unaware or unconcerned about this serious issue. The children who are lured to join this activity claim that they are after money which is not the case. The villages where these children come from portraying abject poverty.

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