Conflicts are critical events that can weaken or strengthen a relationship.
Conflicts can be productive, creating deeper understanding, closeness and respect, or they can be destructive, causing resentment, hostility and divorce.
This visual display informs the lecture and discussion.
Printouts are available to help students review the material from each class.
Power Point Presentations: each class presents material through a Power Point Presentation displayed on a large screen.There are two schools of thought that concentrate on the analysis of conflict in social groups - Marxian economic theory & Simmel's analysis of dyadic conflict .The Dialectical Change Theories (grand theories) include Dialectic Philosophies of Hegel (1820), the economic models of Karl Marx (1844), and Ralf Dahrendorf (1950s).Disciplines: there are 10 disciplines which are taught in the course of the class.A description of each is available through the Just Conflict site.However, conflict theories were rediscovered after social science became somewhat disenchanted with Parsons.While it seems quite an intellectual stretch to include both aspects of conflict (i.e., enormous economic pressures on social structure versus individual personality conflicts), the two actually fit quite well. Marxist approaches to explaining the routines of social life are attractive, especially to younger intellectuals who search for simplistic answers to complex questions.Another distinction useful for categorizing relationships is whether or not they are voluntary.For example, some personal relationships are voluntary, like those with romantic partners, and some are involuntary, like those with close siblings.Focus: on the conflict of interest that is inherent in all groups and between all members of groups.This principle extends to the larger society in all its forms.