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Marx and Weber, were they alive today, would likely use Conflict Theory to study the unprecedented bail outs by the US government which have proven to be a rich-to-rich wealth transfer.Conflict Theory assumes that those who have perpetually try to increase their wealth at the expense and suffering of those who have not.Sociological theories are the core and underlying strength of the discipline. They also guide practitioners in their intervention strategies.And they will provide you with a basic understanding of how to see the larger social picture in your own personal life.Conflict theory is especially useful in understanding: war, wealth and poverty, the haves and the have nots, revolutions, political strife, exploitation, divorce, ghettos, discrimination and prejudice, domestic violence, rape, child abuse, slavery, and more conflict-related social phenomena.Conflict theory claims that society is in a state of perpetual conflict and competition for limited resources.Theory is a set of interrelated concepts used to describe, explain, and predict how society and its parts are related to each other.The metaphor I’ve used for many years to illustrate the usefulness of a theory is what I call the "goggles metaphor." Goggles are a set of inter-related parts that help us see things more clearly.
Weber studied capitalism further but argued against Marx’s outright rejection of it.That is not to say that all sociological phenomena are conflict-based.But, most Conflict theorist would argue that more often than not Conflict assumptions do apply.When theories are used at this level they are referred to as Macro Theories are theories which best fit the study of massive numbers of people (typically Conflict and Functional theories).When theories are used to study small groups or individuals, say a couple, family, or team, they are referred to as being Micro Theories are theories which best fit the study of small groups and their members (typically Symbolic Interactionism or Social Exchange theories).