The processes that make special contribution towards social differentiation, antagonism and division are called dissociative processes. The dissociative processes of social interaction are of negative type of interaction.
These are also called disintegration of society. It hinders the progress and development of society. Sociologists say that these processes also strengthen the process of social solidarity. Adam Smith defined the role of competition in the economic activities of production, distribution and consumption. Similarly, the contribution of conflict in social structure has been systematically discussed, by Karl Marx, Coser Dahrendrof, Park and Burgess.
Competition, conflict and mutual opposition are included in dissociative processes.
Competition is the most fundamental form of social struggle. It is caused by the thing which are in short supply or which is limited. It makes two or more individuals of groups to struggle for some mutually designed end. Competition is a contest among the people or groups to acquire something, which are insufficient in quantity, and not easily available according to one’s won demand.
Sutherland, Woodward and Maxwell say that “competition is an impersonal; unconscious, continuous struggle between individuals or groups for satisfaction which because of their limited supply, all may not have.”
Biesanz and Biesanz say, “Competition is the striving of two or more persons for the same goal which is limited so that all cannot share it.”
Characteristics of Competition:
1. Competition is an impersonal activity. It is not directed, against any individual or group in particular.
2. Competition is an unconscious struggle. Competitors do not know each other.
3. Competition is a continuous process. It never comes to an end.
4. Competition is the most universal process. It is found in every place and at all times.
5. Competition is a means of fulfilling ones desired ends, aspirations.
6. Competition is different from rivalry.
Importance of Competition:
1. Competition assigns individual to proper place. The role and status of the individual is determined by competition.
2. Competition brings economic prosperity in society.
3. Competition leads to technology and scientific process in the society.
4. Competition provides better opportunities to people to satisfy their desire for new experience and better recognition.
5. Competition among persons of equal strength prevents the concentration of power in the hands of an individual or group.
Conflict is another dissociative process of social interaction. It is a universal social process. It makes an individual or group to frustrate the efforts of another individual or group of individuals who are seeking the same object. It implies desire for violence and reverence.
According to A.W Green “Conflict in the deliberate attempt to oppose; resist or coerce the will of another or other.”
Kingsley Davis says, “Conflict is a modified form of social struggle.”
According to H.T. Mazumdar “Conflict is opposition or struggle involving (a) an emotional attitude of hostility as well as (b) violent interference with one’s autonomous choice.”
Gillin and Gillin say, “Conflict is the social process in which individuals or groups keep their ends by directly challenging the antagonists by violence or the threat of violence.
Characteristics of Conflict:
1. Conflict is a conscious process by which the conflicting parties try to harm each other.
2. Conflict is a personal activity.
3. Conflict is an intermittent process.
4. Conflict is a universal process.
5. Conflict is an emotional process.
Importance of Conflict:
1. Conflict often brings about social unity and oneness among the people.
2. Conflict defines issues.
3. Conflict institutes social change.
4. Conflict destroys the lives and properties of individual.
5. Conflict increases bitterness.
6. Conflict leads destruction and bloodshed.
7. Conflict may lead to outer group tension.