Some of the examples that would be used in the social conflict theory are authority. Authority takes into account the family, patriarchy, race and ethnicity hierarchies of authority. In inequality there is family, health, and property. Inequality looks at how people are treated and how are perceived by others. Then there is competition which; can be anything from education, religion, to who will move over when you pass someone on the street. Competition is ingrained in all of us from the time we are born until the time we die (Conflict Theories, 2011).
So, the social conflict theory is about those in power wanting to stay in power and those not in powers wanting to gain power. Throughout time there have been many battles waged in the desire to gain power. It all began with Karl Marx and has evolved over time to incorporate many other theories about crime and what causes it.
How Social Conflict Theory Works
In concluding about the social conflict theory, I would like you to consider this thought: when you see a business man passing by a homeless man, without even a glance, without so much as a thought as to why this man became homeless, as to why he essentially gave up on the American Dream, and the business man keeps on walking to attend to his busy business life, without so much as trying to help or assist this homeless man, you know why conflict can arise. Ignorance of our people and ignorance of those around us is not going to make the crime go away, but acknowledging their presence, their existence and trying to figure out what happened will help. Marx said, very truly, I think that it is not the consciousness of man that determines his existence but his existence that determines the consciousness of man. If our society is to become viable in the future, it will have to shift its focus from crime ridden society to what can be done to even out the means of distribution so that we can all, live in an environmentally sustainable society. Crime may have to become secondary if we are to survive and ride the ecological wave that is about to hit us. If people do not step away from their materialistic mentality crime will not matter, social classes will not matter, survival of the fittest will matter, redistributing the means so that we can all have the minimum to survive will matter. But with this, will other types of crime appear, will another theory of crime appear, only the future will tell us. But as the lower classes have always had to be resourceful to survive in a materialist and capitalist society, the ruling class, may need to turn to the lower class for help, thus eliminating the power struggle, and we may see harmony in social classes for the survival of the human species, if our environment does not get better soon and even if we are to pull forces all together to make the environment a better place to live. IS naïve or realist, you will be the judge or our future will.