Conflict methodology

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A methodology developed to accompany conflict theory (thus, establishing a complete conflict paradigm in sociology) in its opposition to functional theory and "consensus methodologies" (the methodologies used in government- and private enterprise-funded social research that collects the detailed and accurate information needed by the power centers in society to maintain and sustain control over the powerless). Conflict methodology is used in gathering information and data that is or is to be used for the whole of society, all of its members. Thus, given the power realities and structures of American society, conflict methodology provides information to consumers, workers, minority groups, etc., so they may more effectively choose not only their own political positions and future life-styles but also the most just direction for construction of society. Timothy Lehmann and T. R. Young say, "Under conflict conditions of social organization, we argue that conflict methodology is necessary to constrain the corporate-dominated society. Conflict methodology comprises those strategies and techniques by which information is obtained from and introduced into systems under conditions of hostile contrast." Conflict methodology, then, is necessarily critical of the "large-scale organization" control of both the Eastern and Western worlds. Lehmann and Young point especially to "technological accidents," "technostructure scandals," and "community organizing" as fertile ground for the use of conflict methodology.


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