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What is Conflict ?

Updated on July 7, 2011


In every society there are bound to be differences of opinion on all important matters. The differences can be due to person and collective reason. When competitive individuals or groups consciously try to annihilate, defeat of subordinate each other in an effort to achieve certain objectives, conflict comes into existence.

Conflict results when people are competing for scarce material and non material products.

Definition of Conflict “Conflict is the deliberate attempt to oppose, resist or coerce the will of another or others.”

Objects of Conflict:

The objects of conflict may be:

1) Power

2) Status

3) Property 

And other desired values in a particular culture

Fields of Conflict:

Conflict may be in the fields of:

1)      Political

2)      Social

3)      Economic

4)      Religious fields

When competition among individual, groups, races and societies becomes tense, conscious, and deliberate and they identify their opponents and their activities are destructive having disassociated relationship, it becomes conflict.

Elements/Basis of Conflict:

The elements/basis of conflict are:

1)      Land

2)      Money

3)      Woman

These are perhaps the most contributing factors in the outcome of disassociate form of social process. i.e. conflict. We also know these as we call them zan, zar, zameen.

Forms/Types of Conflict:

1)      War: War is the most destructive form of conflict. The reason for war may be economic gains of due to difference in religious ideologies or dominance or encroachment of other’s territory. There are various types of wars i.e.

  1. Regional
  2. World
  3. Short and Long

2)      Class Conflict: There are different classes in the social ladder of society. The   upper classes generally exploit the lower class for their own benefit and block the progress and prosperity of lower classes. The exploitation leads to class conflict. The French revolution and Russian revolution are the examples of class conflict.

Other examples can be tenants and landlords and laborers and industrialists’ category of conflict.

3)      Racial Conflict: The presence of different races in a country brings racial               conflicts e.g. in the U.S.A and U.K and South Africa the conflicts between the Negroes (blacks) and Whites, because the Negroes are in minority and exploited by the whites which leads to racial conflicts.

4)      Religious conflicts: In religious conflict we find sectarian conflicts or religious conflicts. This kind of conflict is either within the religious or between different religions. Within religion there are sects, which cause sectarianism e.g. in Pakistan Shia, Sunni conflict due to their ethnocentric attitude towards each other’s belief and between Catholics and Protestants in Christianity.

Between religions e.g. Hindus and Christians, Sikhs and Hindus, Muslims and Christians in different places of the world, these religious conflicts occurred.

5)      Political Conflict: In most of the countries a party getting hold of power annihilates the political opponents. Political conflicts may be prevalent among different countries, which may result in disastrous wars.

6)      Inter and Intra community conflicts: Inter community conflicts are those which occur between or among communities i.e. community versus community.

The other one is intra community conflict, this conflict is usually within the community i.e. factions and feuds or sectarian conflicts etc.

The major causes of these conflicts are usually economics, social, political, religious (sectarian) etc.

Functions of Conflict:

It had been said that conflicts are parts of human society and these are bound to arise because individuals are separate organs. They can agree as well as differ form each other.

It is admitted that conflict results in wastage of time, money and energy yet it has certain functions, which are useful too. Conflict may serve the following useful purposes.

  1. Essential for the advancement: The conflicts are essential socially to advance the society. It is very correct to say that harmony and disharmony are essential for the growth of society. Conflicts are therefore essential to make society dynamic and progressive.

Due to inventions and discoveries there come some disturbances. Slowly and gradually these differences are settled down and the nations integrated and adopt the new ways.

  1. Enhance cooperation: When the conflict occurs, after it the need of accommodation is felt. The divergent groups, classes or communities come together and decide permanent settlement of the time-to-time disturbances. So the day-to-day deference are diminished or demolished after the conflicts occur.
  2. Bring positive change: The settlement can only be possible at the end of a conflict. The end of conflicts brings some positive changes e.g. the conflicts among tenants and landlords have resulted in the declaration of land reforms in Pakistan. Conflicts in family life have resulted in new family laws etc.

Thus the exploitation can only be stopped if the people challenge it and peace in complete form is possible only when the conflict occurs.


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      Akpore Oghenemarho 2 years ago

      Thanks a lot but we need to know the website pls. I mean those of us in the university. Thanks once more.

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      Hiifan 2 years ago

      This article has facilitated my research in no small measure. Pls keep it up Rahim.

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      ceejay 3 years ago

      nice write up, keep it up!!!!!

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      It really helped me..

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      akhtar 4 years ago


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      ERICK MAIBA 4 years ago

      Thanks Rahim!!! Nice of you !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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      bilal khan 5 years ago

      rahim khan u r jenius man

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      Rahim Shinwari 5 years ago

      Thank u all that u enjoyed my article ...

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      short and easy but good work and very help full data for all

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      abel sam muchena 5 years ago

      conflicts are health

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      Your such a great thinker!!!!!


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      good article

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      Rahim Shinwari 7 years ago

      thanks a lot .. its my pleasure that you liked my hub ...

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      rotl 7 years ago from Florida

      I enjoyed reading your hub. Good job.