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Conflict Theory Essay

  • Submitted by: a4subject
  • on September 5, 2012
  • Category: English
  • Length: 2,398 words

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Below is an essay on "Conflict Theory" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

CHAPTER 10
Conflict Theory
A. Oberschall

HUMAN NATURE AND WARFARE
The psychologist Robert Hinde writes that (1997) “Certain behavioral propensities, including
the capacity for aggression, are common to virtually all humans. This does not mean that they
are genetically determined …humans have a capacity to be both aggressive and altruistic…the
behavior shown depends on a host of developmental, experiential, social and circumstantial
factors.” Although sociobiologists assume that genes exist for specific behavioral dispositions,
like “self-sacrificial bravery in warfare” (Tiger and Fox 1971), no such genes have been
identified, and behavior in warfare and group conflict situations has been explained in other
terms. For example, Jews in Nazi Europe put up little resistance to the Holocaust. Were they
genetically lacking in self-sacrificial bravery in warfare? The Jews who emigrated to Palestine
belonged to the same gene pool, yet fought aggressively and successfully for the creation and
defense of the state of Israel in 1946–1948 and in subsequent wars. Helen Fein (1979) has
explained the lack of resistance during the Holocaust with a gradual entrapment model of
the Jews by the Nazis. It started with the legal definition of Jew, followed by stigmatization,
stripping of citizenship and property, segregation from nonJews, isolation in ghettos, and
ending in labor and extermination camps. These differences in the behavior of Jews cannot be
explained by sociobiology.
Controversy on the biological versus cultural dimensions of human nature compares
primate social organization and behavior with those of preliterate, low technology human
communities (Rodseth et al. 1991). Compared to primate mating, humans have marriage
and kinship. In human bands, there is a relative absence of male dominance and hierarchy,
and more equality among adult males on resource sharing, sex, and leadership. Systematic
violence between closed social groups is rare....

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