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Lewis Coser (1913–2003) has made many contributions to the field of sociology. He is primarily a conflict theorist, distinctive from most in two respects. First, he describes social conflict as a result of factors other than, simply, opposing group interests. Second, he is concerned with the consequences of conflict. Émile Durkheim's influence on Coser's conflict theory is also quite evident, as Coser repeatedly discusses the functional aspects of conflict and the functional aspects of society.

Born in Berlin, to a Jewish family of bankers, Coser was involved with the socialist student movement, a social protest group that was not met with tolerance by the emerging presence of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi regime. Coser left Germany in 1933 and moved to Paris, where he attended ...

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