Professor: Thomas Boudreau, PhD.
The Function of Social Conflict
Analytic paper on Coser book
The core question of Lewis Coser's book The Function of Social Conflict was: are they any short term functional benefits in the American society, as a result of the US invasion of Iraq in 2003? My direct answer to this question is "no" if we the temporary and partial unification of the American people at the time of the event taken as an exception. In his book Coser discusses a lot of both positive and negative functions of the conflict. Most notable is Simmel's proposition in which he says, "Conflict serves to establish and maintain the identity and boundary lines of societies and groups.
Conflict with out- group contributes to the establishment and reaffirmation of the identity of the group and maintains its boundaries against the surrounding social world" (Coser 1956). Simmel went further by saying, "patterned enmities and reciprocal antagonisms conserve social divisions and systems of stratification. Such patterned antagonism prevents the gradual disappearance of boundaries between the subgroups of social system and they assign position to various subsystems within a total system" (Coser 1956).
The theories and application to conflicts.
The above mentioned theories are probably the most interesting, because of the clear application to all conflict within group structures, but at the same time it fails to address a key significant issue which is a time issue. Despite the fact that every conflict is unique, the timing always is the defining master in every matter, and Simmel's proposition raises a question...