Proposition #1 (38) “Conflict serves to establish and maintain the identity and boundary lines of societies and groups.
Proposition #2 47-48 “(I) Conflict is not always dysfunctional for the relationship within which it occurs; often conflict is necessary to maintain such a relationship. Without ways to vent hostility toward each other, and to express dissent, group members might feel completely crushed and might react by withdrawal. By setting free pent-up feelings of hostility, conflicts serve to maintain a relationship.”
Proposition #3 54 “Each social system contains sources of realistic conflict insofar as people raise conflicting claims to scarce status, power and resources, and adhere to conflicting values. The allocation of status, power and resources, though governed by norms and role allocation systems, will continue to be an object of contention to some degree. Realistic conflicts arise when men clash in the pursuit of claims based on frustration of demands and expectancies of gains.”
Proposition #4 59 “Aggressive or hostile “impulses” do not suffice to account for social conflict. Hatred, just as love, needs some object. Conflict can occur only in the interaction between subject and object; it always presupposes a relationship.
Proposition #5 64 “Reformulating the present proposition, we may say that antagonism is usually involved as an element in intimate relationships. Converging and diverging motivations may be so commingled in the actual relationship that. they can be separated only for classificatory and analytical purposes, while the relationship actually has a unitary character sui generis.
Proposition #6 72 “In the last proposition we stated that hostile feelings are likely to arise in close relationships and that if conflicts occur in these relationships, they are likely to be intense. This does not necessarily point to the likelihood of more frequent conflict in closer relationships than in less close ones. We have already encountered situations in which accumulated hostility does not eventuate in conflict behavior. The next proposition will consider this problem further.”
Proposition #7 80 “Conflict may serve to remove dissociating elements in a relationship and to re-establish unity.
Proposition #8 85 “The absence of conflict cannot be taken as an index of the strength and stability of a relationship.
Proposition #9 95 “Conflict with another group leads to the mobilization of the energies of group members and hence to increased cohesion of the group.
Proposition #10 103 “Groups engaged in continued struggle with the outside tend to be intolerant within.
Proposition #11 110 “Rigidly organized struggle groups may actually search for enemies with the deliberate purpose or the unwitting result of maintaining unity and internal cohesion. Such groups may actually perceive an outside threat although no threat is present. Under conditions yet to be discovered, imaginary threats have the same group-integrating function as real threats.
Proposition #13 118-119 “Conflicts in which the participants feel that they are merely the representatives of collectivities and groups, fighting not for self but only for the ideals of the group they represent, are likely to be more radical and merciless than those that are fought for personal reasons.
Proposition #14 132-133 “In view of the advantages of unified organization for purposes of winning the conflict, it might be supposed that each party would strongly desire the absence of unity in the opposing party. Yet this is not always true. If a relative balance of forces exists between the two parties, a unified party prefers a unified opponent.
Proposition #15 137 “Conflict consists in a test of power between antagonistic parties. Accommodation between them is possible only if each is aware of the relative strength of both parties. However, paradoxical as it may seem, such knowledge can most frequently be attained only through conflict, since other mechanisms for testing the respective strength of antagonists seem to be unavailable.
Proposition #16 148-149 “Struggle may bring together otherwise unrelated persons and groups. Coalitions and temporary associations, rather than more permanent and cohesive groups, will result from conflicts where primarily pragmatic interests of the participants are involved. Such alignments are more likely to occur in flexible structures than in rigid ones, because, in rigid societies, suppressed conflicts, if they break out, tend to assume a more intense and hence more “ideological” character. Coalitions and associations give structure to an individualistic society and prevent it from disintegrating through atomization.