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Social Studies

Social conflict can be described as disagreement, struggle, fight or quarrel between two or more people in the society in the process of interaction. It can also be defined as misunderstanding between two or more people as a result of differences in opinion, ideas, beliefs, values or goals.


Conflicts arise in the society when there is no cooperation or agreement. It should be noted that conflict is unavoidable in the society if people keep interacting with one another. But when conflicts arise it should be well and properly managed.

There are basically two types of conflicts:

  1. Peaceful conflict
  2. Violent conflict

Peaceful Conflict: peaceful conflict is the type of conflict that occurs as a result of competition between two people or groups who seek to achieve a common goal by competing with one another. Examples of peaceful conflicts are football match, school debate, inter school sports, etc.

Violent Conflict: this is the type of conflict that arises as a result of severe disagreement between people or groups leading to war, violence, destruction of properties and loss of lives. Examples of violent conflict are inter-personal misunderstanding, inter-ethnic conflict, intra-ethnic conflict, religious conflict, etc.


Inter-personal conflict is the conflict that usually occurs between two people who have close contact with one another or living together. Examples are co-tenants, office colleagues, buyer and seller, neighbours, etc. Inter-ethnic conflict is the type of conflict that occurs between two different ethnic groups. Examples are Hausa and Igbo.


Intra-ethnic conflict is the type of conflict that occurs between groups or members of the same ethnic group. Examples are Modakeke and Ife. Religious conflict is the type of conflict that exists between people of different religious beliefs. Example is Christians and Muslims.



Conflicts are caused by a number of factors. Some of which are:

  1. Selfishness
  2. Tribalism
  3. Cheating
  4. Religious differences
  5. Greed
  6. Bad leadership
  7. Disobedience to rules
  8. Misunderstanding



  1. It can hinder growth and progress of the society.
  2. It can lead to loss of lives and properties.
  3. It can result in hatred and envy.
  4. It can lead to increase in criminal activities in the society.
  5. It can lead to anarchy i.e. a state of lawlessness.
  6. It brings about wastage of national resources.



  1. Respect for other people’s views.
  2. Forgiveness.
  3. Contentment.
  4. Tolerance.
  5. Respect for human rights.
  6. Access to justice.


See also

national unity and integration






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