The contemporary society is a living breathing, growing and expanding dynamic whole. It is a study in contrasts. There is no doubt several classes on the basis of economy, several castes, colors and ethnic distributions all over the world as well as within specific geographical spaces. Thus, the points of discrimination have multiplied many times over and so have the diversifications and yet societies all over the world continue to function within their given structures in various interactional patterns that extend within and outside the societies. Many of the networks of interaction with society are fundamentally similar to the structural-functional theorist’s conceptionalization of society. However, it is the symbolic interactionists who hold Sway over all the proceedings apparent within a society. The theory is relevant even today seeing the modern society’s proclivity towards unpredictability.
The contemporaneous social animal or member of society gives free reign to his or her genius and allows for the extensive expression of free will. All men and women are considered equal in every way. Several constitutional amendments and legislations brought into action all over the world have made it mandatory for discriminating against any form of discrimination.
While governments have promised the growth of all individuals according to their own genius, there is little reason for the relevance of the theory of social conflict. However, it has been found that conflicts continue to exist. They continue to be the groupings of the ‘haves’ and the ‘have not’ in all forms of humans settlements. No matter which sector of economy is looked at the societal differentials are visible. Whether it is the services sector, the heavy industrial and technological sector or the simple manufacturing and sales sector, everywhere there are people who are at various stages of the ladder. Those at the bottom envy those at the top. Thus, the theory of social conflict holds equally true. It is, however, to be considered in a more fluid and dynamic manner.
Thus, at the outset, both theories singly cannot be said to describe the basic tenets of contemporaneous society. However, when taken together, they can apply to the society of today in some aspects. While there is no doubt that society today is free, open, and transparent and honors individual choices, to a large extent, there is an underlying thread of discriminatory attitudes that surface every now and then, while there are no reasons for conflict of any form of fester in any of the locations where it is most often found these days. There are some other reasons for its growth. This is probably because of the political will of the government of the day to keep these parts of social existence at this level to gain an edge over other political entities. Thus, the rigmarole of promise and partial delivery of benefits turns into a perpetuation of conflict all around.
Many of the current socio-political processes in society can be explained on the basis of these two theories. Yet, it is not the complete picture. The fact that sociological thought has expanded far beyond the limitations and purview of one single theory shows that there is ample scope for presenting a wholistic study of society.