Social Processes: Cooperation, Competition & Conflict

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  • 0:03 Why Can't We All Get Along?
  • 1:06 What is Social Process?
  • 2:15 Intersections and Differences
  • 3:28 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Gaines Arnold
People work together, strive with one another, and have personal issues that drive conflict. This lesson defines the social processes of cooperation, competition, and conflict and discusses their similarities and differences.

Why Can't We All Get Along?

Building a business had always been the biggest goal of Brady's life. He wanted to start it on his own and make it a proposition of which he could be proud. He had learned how to use a smoker from his mother and had several good family spice rub recipes that he was going to use to start a barbecue place. He had help getting the restaurant started, and the day came when he was able to open his doors.

Before he got into the business, he checked the competition and determined the best place to locate. He had a good location in the town and no other barbecue restaurants within a couple of miles. Unfortunately, there was a long-established Chinese restaurant right next door. He began to have problems with the owner of that restaurant as soon as he opened, and the antagonism just got worse.

Brady was realizing his dream, but he was also beginning to realize that he couldn't have opened without the cooperation of those who had helped him. He also saw that there was always going to be competition for customers and conflict with other business owners. Brady was in the midst of a class in social processes whether he wanted to be or not.

What Is Social Process?

The term social process describes a change that is consistent within a society over time. Though many of these processes have been defined, the processes of cooperation, competition, and conflict are three of the most common and stable within a society. These three processes, along with the others that have been defined, are seen as interactions between individuals within a society.

When people interact, there are a few outcomes that can happen. Among these possible outcomes are:

  • Cooperation, which is when two or more people have a common goal that they work together to accomplish.

  • Competition, which is when two or more people strive against one another to gain possession of some good or service.

  • Conflict, which is a deliberate action in which one individual attempts to thwart the will of another.

Direct cooperation is when people cooperate dependently, meaning they work directly together. Indirect cooperation is when people are working independently, separately, toward the same goal. Competition occurs in many endeavors such as athletics, business, and among nations. The concept of conflict is very broad and encompasses many different types of actions.

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