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Conflict Theory

theorists do not ignore consensus and belief, but they emphasize that popular attitudes are often sustained and manipulated by groups in power. They focus attention on who controls the communications media or the educational system and how these controls are used to induce acceptance of official doctrinesą" A conflict model "identifies the potential for change, especially the rise of new groups capable of challenging existing institutions ..."1

The abstract expressionists were hardly a threat to the power groups controlling society in the United States after World War II, but they did express an element of conflict between those power groups and the community of artists which were in conflict with the "official doctrine" of those groups. Certainly, in the late 1940s and early and mid-1950s, the official doctrine was that the world was at peace, the evils of Fascism had been conquered and destroyed, and reality consisted of happiness, prosperity, and harmony in the United States. This was the doctrine to which the groups in power in the period after World War II in the United States were trying to impose on the people of the United States. If those powers had been able to control the artists at work in abstract expressionism, they would have instructed them to conform to the official doctrine and to create works in which peace, prosperity, happiness and harmony were portrayed. As we read in Broom and Selznick, " In all societies, th


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Conflict Theory. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 07:59, October 24, 2014, from
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