Conflict theory asserts that society is in constant conflict for a few resources. The doctrine affirms that the community regularly engages in the struggle for power and the acquisition of limited materials (Simon, 2016). Conflict theory is based on perspectives that accentuate an acquisitive interpretation and a fundamental stance on determining societal arrangements. Presumptions on the theory address issues on revolution, competition, war, and structural inequality. Theorists affirm that competition results from the deficiency of resources. Intangible resources that are regarded as scarce include social status, dominance, and material resources. Conflict theorists assert that the divergences in social status instigate class conflict and, in turn, the rise of a revolution. These theorists advocate for social change and insist that change does not result from adaptation; instead, it is rapid and occurs on a large-scale. Conflict theory further affirms that social structures, as well as human interactions, encounter inequalities. Consequently, several individuals innately develop more reward and influence than other individuals, and they tend to devise methods they can utilize to enhance their power. War results from increasing conflict in society, and it can strengthen the cohesion of society members or cause further division.
Crash is a movie that was released in 2004. The film employs an unflinching perspective on the intricacies of racial prejudice in contemporary American society. It addresses the volatile connections of the efforts of multi-racial characters and how they overcome challenges and describes narratives of diverse racial groups who belong to various social classes. The film Crash represents how racial discrimination and stereotypes are evident in the current society. Racial intolerance is the central conflict of the film (Crash, 2004). The film uses the crashing of vehicles to signify the class conflicts, conflict among cultures, and the complexities of human associations. Crash movie focuses on the cultural conflicts and class conflict that occur in 36 hours in Los Angeles city. The movie cast comprises a Persian male with his daughter, a Black Director, Detective Graham, a Latino worker, a white male police officer, and a white general director. It demonstrates the common sociological problems experienced in American society. The movie begins with a black police officer describing the nature of the common incidents that take place in the city. It provides a detailed account of sociological concepts since it acknowledges that individuals are regularly predisposed to discrimination depending on their divergences in social class, race, and cultural values—the context allowed for the proper representation of cultures because it contains a diversity of cultures.
The conflict theory is suitable as Crash movie comprises various racial groups that are continually demeaning each other so that their group can become superior. As a result of this struggle, racial intolerance and stereotypes become notable. A crash occurs between a Latino woman and an Asian woman, and they are seen to argue with each other while they make racial taunts. Conflict theory is evidenced as each of the participants perceives her race as more superior to the other; thus, they resort to referring to racial stereotypes. A Persian male and his daughter visit a shop to purchase a gun. The store owner humiliates the Persian male due to his inferior English dialect and his dark skin tone. The shop-owner refers to him as a terrorist. The two individuals begin to insult each other, and he is ordered to take either take his money or the gun and immediately leave (Crash, 2004). Conflict theory manifests as the white male, who is the store owner, perceives himself as superior due to his race.
Jean Cabot, a wealthy white female, views her Latino worker as less superior as she presumes that he is a gang member due to his tattoos. Cabot assumes that he intends to engage in criminal behavior. She immediately concludes that he is socio-economically deprived and could steal from her. After the Latino worker completes fixing the lock, Mrs. Cabot informs her husband that the lock has to be re-fixed (Crash, 2004). She feels as though he lacks the required expertise. She refuses to leave the worker with the extra set of keys claiming that the worker would give her keys to his other Latino friends, and they would break in and steal from her. Cabot’s husband tries to persuade his wife concerning the unlikelihood of the worker stealing from them; however, she persists with the claims. Cabot also becomes angry towards her Mexican maid because she did not empty the dishwasher. Cabot’s husband is an Attorney General, and he utilizes racial profiling in his politics. Conflict theory manifests as he perceives his race as superior to other races; hence he ensures that he incorporates racial politics. The white police officer regularly engages in racial discrimination against black persons. The officer regularly harasses black individuals as he is stereotypic. He assumes that they are mostly involved in criminal behaviors such as drug abuse.
Conflict theory is evident when Jenna Cabot tightly squeezes her husband’s arm when they walk past two black persons. The two males assume that she is scared of them. This indicates racial stereotypes. The black individuals later commit robbery demonstrating racial stereotypes as most black persons are perceived to lack the right professions; hence they are regularly involved in criminal behaviors. The theory is notable since a general perception is offered to individuals of a particular culture. The competition for resources implies conflict. In the film, there are several scenes where white individuals made remarks regarding black individuals. Ryan decides to visit Mrs. Johnson, who happens to reject his pleas to assisting him as she recalled that he was the same person who had made negative remarks about her the previous day. Ryan is frustrated and remarks that he could still obtain some assistance from other white persons. Ryan further mentions that the only reason she was hired was due to affirmative action. He implies that he would have selected a white individual over her, discounting her proficiency. Dixon, the supervisor of Ryan and Hansen, urged Hansen to provide false information regarding the reasons he wanted a new partner. The officer Hansen was with Ryan when he assaulted a black female. Although Hansen did not prevent the ordeal, he was outraged by his partner’s actions. Dixon, a black officer, in charge of the other officers was afraid of jeopardizing his profession if he permitted Hansen to document an accurate report; therefore, he chose to overlook racial discrimination instead of addressing the racial intolerance issue within the police workforce.
Conclusively, the movie Crash (2004) provides accurate illustrations regarding conflict theory and how conflict is evident in society. The film demonstrates the actual battles that result from the differences in social class and cultural values.
Crash. (2004). [DVD].
Simon, R. M. (2016). The Conflict Paradigm in Sociology and the Study of Social Inequality: Paradox and Possibility. Theory in Action, 9(1).