Social conflict results from growing contradictions that appear as a conflict between diverse social groups. Social conflicts unavoidably arise and worsen as a result of the heterogeneity of society and variations in status and well-being. Because this process involves disputes and their resolution, Coser saw social conflicts as one of the prerequisites for society’s progress. The MeToo movement is one instance of social conflict that demonstrates Coser’s point.
To help survivors of sexual assault find a road to healing, particularly young women of color from underprivileged neighborhoods, Tarana Burke launched the MeToo movement in 2006. The conflict serves as a signal, indicating that there are issues present. It functions as an indicator showing the state of society, the desires of people, their dissatisfaction with the current situation, and the reasons for this dissatisfaction. MeToo informs people about problems with women’s safety, constitutional rights, and freedom of choice. Several states approved legislation banning the use of nondisclosure agreements in situations of sexual misconduct as the #MeToo movement gained popularity. California outlawed the agreements in cases of sexual assault, harassment, or sexism in September 2018 (North, 2019). The criminal justice system has improved due to the movement, which is a development and positive change.
According to the sociological theory known as symbolic interactionism, interactions between people and how they perceive the world are the foundation of society (Del Casino & Thien, 2020). Social conflict is formed by collective meaning and effort since it is a social action. When people discover a problem, they cooperate to find a solution by sharing opinions. For example, symbolic interactionism is in line with the idea of the MeToo movement. The movement brings sexual assault to the public’s attention through verbal and symbolic signals. As a result, issues relating to women’s safety are gradually being resolved. Many victims of sexual abuse would have remained silent and continued to deal with the horrible experience if it were not for the MeToo movement. Instead, they are speaking up about the issue, which will help them obtain the required assistance, and act as a change indicator.
Del Casino, V. J., & Thien, D. (2020). Symbolic Interactionism. International Encyclopedia of Human Geography, 177–181.
North, A. (2019). 7 positive changes that have come from the #MeToo movement. Vox.