- Dr. Timothy X. Merritt
Social Change - Conflict Theory
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair:
Karl Marx and Freidrich Engels would have agreed with the Conflict Theory patterns of social change found in The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair. This influential novel describes, in harrowing detail, the difficult and dangerous events of the life of Jurgis Rudkis, an immigrant to Chicago from Lithuania. After suffering horrendously at the hands of petty bureaucrats, tyrannical industrial managers, and a whole assortment of corrupt, criminal abusers, Jurgis eventually wanders into a socialist rally where he finds a vision of hope for the future with the workers eventually wresting control of Chicago from those in power.
Key Theorists / Tenants
Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels (1848) “The Communist Manifesto” advocated for conflict between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat to bring down capitalism.
Lewis Coser (1957) Proposed the idea that social conflict can actually unify and reinvigorate loosely structured groups
Marx and Engels advocated for class conflict between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat to bring down capitalism, while Coser argued that “that social conflict can actually unify and reinvigorate loosely structured groups” (Bishop, 2012, p. 154).