Conflict theorizing originated in Europe in the works of Karl Marx, Max Weber, and Georg Simmel. In its more modern guise, conflict theory is an American invention, despite the fact that its reemergence in the mid-twentieth century was inspired by European and European-origin critics of structural functionalism. Early criticisms of functionalism came from David Lockwood and Ralf Dahrendorf, who argued that functional theory, especially the version practiced by Talcott Parsons, presented an overly integrated view of social organization that could not account for conflict and change. This critique was buttressed by immigrant critical theorists and, curiously, by Lewis Coser, another European immigrant, who argued that both conflict and functional theories were too extreme, requiring an assessment of the functions of conflict. These criticisms became ritualistic ...

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