Lewis Coser Meaning Of Conflict Theory

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The notion and the meaning of conflict have evolved with time. Before Coser, conflict was seen more as a source of social change and disintegration. However, the conflict theory we are referring to here is not necessarily an infliction of violence or atrocities, but a conflict that arises due to unequal distribution of power and resources. Theorists consider power to be an important element of conflict theory. For instance, who uses power or where is power located are two of the main concerns of conflict theory. In fact, Coser, himself says power is not a bad thing but it is a factor that helps shape relations within a society. In his theory, Coser tries bringing out the meaning of conflict in a society; how a conflict starts in a society; how unequal distribution of power within a society leads to conflict and the consequences that it brings along. Coser drew most of his theories from Georg Simmel, rather than drawing his theories from Marx and Weber. Coser manages to be distinct from rest of his contemporaries because he was the first to consider the functional consequences of conflict. He believes conflict to be an integral and natural component of the society. Lewis Coser in his book, The Functions of Social Conflict, 1956, puts how groups require disharmony along with harmony, disassociation with association and why conflicts within groups are in no means disruptive factors. He in fact writes about the extent to which conflict is an essential element for group

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