What is social conflict and what are its main types

What is social conflict and what are its main types

The basis of the functioning of any society is social interaction between its members. With such an interaction, the emergence of various contradictions is inevitable, due to both objective and subjective factors. The social contradictions that underlie any conflict in society should not be viewed as a social pathology or an exclusively negative phenomenon that must be got rid of at any cost. The emergence of social conflicts is an absolutely natural process, characterized not only by negative consequences for society, but also by a certain positive impact on social relations. Moreover, it can be argued that such collisions constitute a necessary condition for social development.

The concept of social conflict

Any conflict situation always represents a clash of opposing positions, values, views, goals, interests of several individuals or their associations in the process of interaction in order to possess certain objects that are equally valuable for all conflicting parties. At the heart of any conflict is always a contradiction, representing an irreconcilable mutual denial of interests between two or more subjects of public life. At the same time, a social conflict is characterized not just by a clash, a conflict of interests, but by the highest degree of tension in relations, serious disagreements between people.

To study the patterns of occurrence, development, end of conflicts and the development of methods and techniques for their constructive regulation, there is a special science - conflictology. Conflicts are also studied by psychologists, sociologists, philosophers, lawyers, educators, historians, art historians. The study of social conflict is a field of sociology.

Social conflict should be understood as one of the types of social interaction, representing the highest stage of development of disagreements between individuals, their associations and characterized by confrontation, collision of opposing interests and goals of subjects in the process of social interaction for the possession of something that is the same highly appreciated by the parties.

In order to understand the essence of the concept under consideration, it is necessary to highlight its features:

  • type of social interaction;
  • the basis is always an irreconcilable social contradiction;
  • the highest degree of development of contradictions in society;
  • the most acute way of resolving significant contradictions;
  • lack of agreement between several subjects;
  • contradictions are caused by the mismatch of positions, values, interests, views, goals;
  • focus on the possession of a certain object, equally highly valued by the participants in the conflict.

From the concept and features of the category under consideration, one can see that the presence of opposing positions and interests in individuals or their associations, as well as the state of confrontation between them, are considered necessary and sufficient conditions for the emergence of a conflict.

Social conflicts usually arise and develop gradually. The scheme of their appearance can be depicted in this way.

(1) Social interaction - (2) conflicting interests and their interaction - (3) contradictions - (4) opposition - (5) social conflict.

Social conflicts play an important role in social relations and are inherent in any social interaction. This type of interaction contributes to the identification of existing problems in society and the search for ways to resolve them, social development, improving the quality of decisions made, rallying individuals, etc. Despite the fact that any conflict is accompanied by negative emotions and to a certain extent destabilizes social relations, its importance for creating conditions for changes in society should not be underestimated, therefore no social structure, be it society as a whole, formal or informal group, legal entity, etc. others, will not be able to function effectively in the absence of any contradictions and disagreements.

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