Conflict Theory The modern society is a kind of an organization that consists of individual participants and social groups. These groups are engaged in a constant struggle the primary objective of which is to maximize individual profits of people and social groups. The struggle for maximizing the profits has become the main feature of modern capitalist society. The situation like this inevitably leads to conflict. The conflict theory has a long history of development. Initially, the conflict theory was introduced with the aim to explain conflict between social classes.
At those times the major source of conflict between different social groups was the growing inequality between different social groups. The inequality resulted in the confrontation that occurred between the following social groups: proletarian and bourgeoisie. These forces were engaged in the long-term struggle the main objective of which was to gain control over the state and its people. Apart from reviewing the major causes of conflict, the conflict theory was introduced with the aim to refute functionalism.
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According to the functionalism theory, the society is functioning as a single organism where each individual and a group of individuals play a specific role. Functionalism views the society as a single body. This body consists of different parts that are functioning together as a single organism. (Korgen, White 34) The conflict theory is based on a number of important assumptions. According to these assumptions, society can be viewed as a combination of different conflicting forces. The situation like that inevitably ends in conflict. The conflict in the society is also reasoned by the effect of moderate forces.
There are two groups of the conflicting forces: custom and conflict forces. The mixture of these forces defines the present pattern of our society. As for the conflict theory, I can say that this theory plays a very important role in epitomizing the classic ‘pyramid structure’ of the society. The theory also dictates the terms and conditions according to which the major institutions are supposed to function in the state. Conflict theory indicates the fact that state institutions, laws, and traditions are introduced with the aim to support those people who have traditionally been in power.
The theory states that one group of the society is privileged while the other is not. The perceived superiority of one group over the other serves to be the main course of conflict between different social groups. The conflict theory is concerned with a whole set of important challenges that are posed before the society. According to the conflict theory, anything that challenges the control of the elite is likely to be considered as ‘deviant’ or ‘morally reprehensible. (Korgen, White 32) The theory can be applied on different levels, including micro and macro level.
Macro level means that the problem exists on the state level. When we are talking about the conflict between the US government and Soviet Russia, we are approaching the conflict theory on the macro level. Each state has a whole list of problems that exist on micro level. When we are using the term “micro level”, we mean state organizations and institutions that are functioning on the state level. Karl Marx introduced the theory of social conflict. According to the researcher, the theory can bring many important benefits for the society.
One of these benefits is a chance to reduce social inequality and conflict. Some researcher described the theory as favoritism. In general, the main objective of the theory is to protect the abused groups of the society. The other important objective of conflict theory is to remove social inequality. (Berman 45) Conflict theory traces the major stages of wealth acquisition process. In addition to this, conflict theory defines the further functioning of the system. This functioning is determined by a whole set of important factors. One of these factors is the manner in which people acquire their wealth.
Apart from tracing the major ways in which humans acquire their wealth, Karl Marx contributed much to creating a strong theoretical basis for his theory. What is the most interesting about the conflict theory is that it helps people understand the major principles according to which our society is functioning. (Korgen, White 14) When looking into the very essence of the conflict theory we can find out that it views the society as dialects. The dialects are the opposing forces that inevitably exist in any society. The presence of the opposing forces often creates the conflict in the society.
This conflict frequently occurs between the owners of production or societal goods and those people who bring benefits to the owners of production. Apart from analyzing conflicts within a society, conflict theory can be also applied to making the analysis of different aspects of the society. Healthcare belongs to the list of societal aspects that can be analyzed with the help of the conflict theory. In this paper I am going to analyze the problems in modern healthcare with the help of the conflict theory. The essence of conflict theory can be better understood with the help of the classic ‘pyramid structure’.
The use of this structure helps to clarify the essence of elite groups that currently function in the state. (Berman 41) All major institutions that currently work in the state are designed with the aim to support those people who work for the system. The groups that govern the society are often perceived as superior ones. What is more, the conflict theory covers many aspects of society’s ‘morality. ‘ When analyzing the structure of the conflict theory, I can say that this theory plays an extremely important role in a further development of the society.
In addition, the conflict theory can be used to address a number of problems that exist in the modern healthcare system. There are many ways to examine the problems that currently exist in the healthcare system of the United States. The structural analysis of the modern healthcare system indicates that it is comprised of numerous dialects. When we say dialects we mean that there are a number of the conflicting forces that are currently functioning in the society. The major parts of the conflicts that occur in the society are natural.
The conflict within the modern healthcare system, is frequently attributed to the effect of the “opposing forces that exist within social/structural arrangements” (Matcha, 2000, p. 16). In the United States we have a very scarce system of sources distribution. In fact, the scarcity of the resources can be regarded as the leading problem in American healthcare. Even though the state has a great number of doctors, hospitals, medical schools, and the vast amount of medical technology, it does not mean that we do not have any problems.
Currently, the medical system of the United States is facing the problem of medical staff. You are likely to encounter the problem of poor healthcare if you do not have an access to a health insurance. The other issue of concern is that your health insurance does not cover enough of your required medical expenses. In this case you are forced to come up with the money yourself or go without medical treatment. (Korgen, White 33) Now I will explain the problem in Marxian terms (just to remind you Marx was the main author of conflict theory).
I can say that the modern healthcare system is governed by Marxists who have a full control over the system and it’s functioning. Consequently, capitalists are the only people who are able to enjoy the benefits of American healthcare system. We have the situation like this because capitalists have the means to access the healthcare services while other people are refused to be provided an access to modern healthcare services. The current research indicates that there are many people who stay just in the middle. These people are referred to as proletariat.
There are frequent cases when proletariat is engaged in the complex struggle. The main objective of this struggle is to meet the current needs of modern healthcare system. (Mitchell, Rosenbach, McCormack 11) Person’s inability to get an access to modern healthcare services frequently results in personal tragedy. For example, a serious illness or physical disability of the family provider can easily cause a hardworking family to go completely bankrupt. The threat to encounter the situation like this inevitably leads a hardworking person to a tragedy.
There are frequent cases when people are not able to meet their basic needs. Bearing in mind that the wealth of the ruling class depends on the activities of its workers I would encourage the state to change its policy in reference to the ruling class. Current research indicates that a prosperous state cannot exist without hard workers who are ready to meet the impending tasks of the system. The prosperity of the working class can help the ruling class can become richer. (Sochalski , Villarruel 49) Having healthy workers often brings the additional benefits to the state.
Considering the idea of introducing the possible changes into the modern healthcare is likely to bring the additional benefits to people. If unhealthy, the workers are not likely to bring the additional benefits to the system, which will inevitably lead to the final demise of the system. To put it simply, healthy state needs healthy people. The present-day barriers can be categorized in the following way: 1. Economic barriers. These barriers often involve the lack of health insurance, inadequate health insurance, no financial capacity to cover to cover non-insurance services, and poverty; 2.
Structural barriers. Structural barriers often involve the lack of medical providers and heath care facilities that will be able to serve the current needs of our society; 3. Socio-cultural barriers. Socio-cultural barriers often involve problems that are concerned with poor understanding of the problem causes. (Sochalski , Villarruel 3) In America, many people do not have a chance to get a health insurance. Traditionally, healthcare insurance can be obtained through a public health insurance program. However, not everyone can join the program.
The major barrier to joining the program is inability of poor people to pay for their insurance. Medicaid is partially helpful. The main objective of this program is to promote people’s access to emergency rooms, community clinics or hospital outpatient services. Still, Medicaid fails to meet the needs of all American citizens. According to the recent research about 15 percent of children who were inspected by the organization were reported to lack health insurance. According to the research, children from rich families have more advantages to enjoy the benefits of the system. Sochalski , Villarruel 7) Lack of access to healthcare negatively affects the children. According to the recent estimates about 31 percent of all children in the United States were refused the right to enjoy the benefits of healthcare system. In addition, the study found that children from poor families were especially affected by the poor healthcare system that existed in the state. Differences in access to health may have a negative influence on the further development of the American society. The far-reaching consequences on health-care development often come as a result of the denied access to basic health care.
When denied an access to healthcare services Americans many find themselves in the situation when they will live a shorter life. The inadequate access to health care is thought to be the primary cause of premature deaths and disability of a great number of people who inhabit the territory of the United States. The two most meaningful aspects of modern healthcare include the following: spending and the number of physicians. The recent research indicates that the United States constantly increasing amount of money spent on health-care services.
The other important finding is that there is the relationship between health care spending and life expectancy. This finding indicates that countries which spend little on health care are likely to have low life expectancies. As for the countries with high health care spending, these countries usually have high life expectancies. In general, the abnormalities exist in both directions. (Zollinger, Saywell, Smith ,Robinson , Knudson 10) Health care spending and density of doctors belong to the list of factors that pose the additional limitations on people. As a result of these limitations people have a very poor access to health care.
The differences in access to healthcare services are often reasoned by the never-ending conflict that exists between rich and poor, and urban and rural populations. When to look at the problem of healthcare unequally from the point of conflict theory I can say that the problem exists and the national level. The root of the conflict is the inadequate distribution of health care resources. Works Cited: Berman J. Turning point initiative. Colorado department of public health and environment; 2002. p. 37, 40, 44. Korgen, Kathleen Odell and Jonathan M. White. (2009). Learning How To Act in Society:Socialization. ” Pp. 59-72 in The Engaged Sociologist: Connecting the Classroom to the Community. Second Edition. Los Angeles: Pine Forge Press. Mitchell JB, Rosenbach ML, McCormack LA, McCornel AN. Access to heath care. Princeton, New Jerey: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; 1993. p. 6. Sochalski J, Villarruel AM. Improving access to health care for children. 1999; 4:147-54. Zollinger Tw, Saywell RM, Smith MA, Robinson RL, Knudson NE. Children’s special health care services program: impact of administrative changes on rural needs. Chidren’s Health Care 2002. 29:295-316.