The positive values of conflict for all societies come to light in this study. The author reveals how conflicts fufill social functions such as the maintenance of group boundaries and the prevention of the withdrawl of members from a group. Critical of the view that conflict is dysfunctional, he demonstrates its inadequacies.
In a series of basic propositions distilled primarily from the theories of Georg Simmel, Mr. Coser clarifies the functions of social conflict. These propositions are extended and related to such theories as those of psychoanalysis and empirical research.