chapter  3
22 Pages

Conflict theory

One of the fundamental features of any sociological perspective is how it defi nes the ‘natural’ state of a society. Are societies inherently stable, held together by a consensus of shared values – which sometimes people lose sight of – and by smoothly integrated institutions – which sometimes malfunction? Or are they actually defi ned by competition and difference, occupied by a vast array of groups and communities with diverse cultures, values and interests, some of which are incompatible with one another?