How does the conflict theory perspective affect an explanation of urban revitalization?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

People who believe in the conflict perspective of sociology argue that what is important about society is the competition between groups.  This competition is what drives social change and what creates the conditions in a society.  Therefore, the conflict perspective would affect such an explanation by making it focus on conflict.

Where the functionalist perspective looked for groups working towards similar goals, the conflict perspective would emphasize group competition.  For example, it might point out that rich developers gain much more from urban revitalization than poor people and that the poor people tend to bear many of the burdens.  In other words, they would explain urban revitalization by saying that it is caused by wealthy people outcompeting poorer people.  The wealthy are more able to effectively pursue their goals because our society is set up to privilege them.

In the conflict perspective, anything important like urban revitalization comes about because of conflict.  In this case, it is conflict between the rich and the poor and often between blacks and whites that ends up leading to urban revitalization projects in which the rich whites win and the poor minorities lose.