Social conflict theory refers to a social theory that argues that the social classes have different levels of resources which leads to a conflict between these social classes. In most cases the powerful groups ends up exploiting the less powerful and poor groups. This may be done through economic forces as well as brutal police forces. Power may be In the form of physical, coercive or manipulative forces. All powers may lead to conflict.
In relation to the movie, To Kill a Mocking Bird, it demonstrates various issues related to social conflicts especially issues to do with social inequality and racism. The differences in social status have been clearly demonstrated as overcomplicated issues that the children faced. There were few rich people and many poor people who were below them in Maycomb’s hierarchy. The were mistreated even those who had qualities were still mistreated by Ewell who were the poor in that community for Tom Robinson was mistreated because he was a black person. The rigidity and inflexibility of the social classes and divisions destroyed the society. The social classes were based on economic status and racial discrimination.
This movie reflected on the morality of the society or community at hand. The children are approached in the movie to be innocent and had no evil.Attichus Finch has reflected the good morals by observing the evil but he never lost faith in doing good things. He perceived life by appreciating good things and treating all people equitably. He tried to portray the moral aspect of life and going against the evil in the society. The people were also prosecuted on basis of their religions. The broken Jem’s arm was a sign of violence.
The differences between the various social classes in this community made many not interact with each other. This led to a lot of disparities between the people leading to social conflict since people cannot do things in the same manner as required. Most of the children from the poor majority could not afford to pay school fees making them have hard times at school and teacher could beat them because of that. Some people could even pay the legal help given to them with goods because they had no money. The large population of farmers near Maycob was very poor. Poverty therefore a major issue affecting people in this community; this made them to be in social groups leading to social conflict because the few rich started exploiting the poor.
The religious conflict prevailed in some families because some members of the community were very staunch on religious issues. This made children to collide with their religious parents who believed on nothing but religion.
At school a black man, Tom Robinson, was falsely accused of raping a white woman and this led to propagation of social conflicts on the basis of religion. In the movie, there were so many family conflicts and troubles which characterize the common issues in the dynamics of social groups.
In conclusion social factors have prevailed in the movie. These factors like violence, family conflicts, religious conflicts and racial discrimination are the components which shaped the community in the movie. The social identity and cohesion helps to understand someone’s social class based on their attitudes and beliefs of the society they belong to. Sociality therefore is an integration of various forces in the society that leads to the formation of a community of diverse cultures and beliefs.
Engelhardt, H. T., & Callahan, D. (1978). Morals, science, and sociality. Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y: Hastings Center, Institute of Society, Ethics, and the Life Sciences.