A social conflict may take different forms and manifest itself in different manners. However, psychologists have identified three different forms of social conflict which as follow:
In this form social conflict is open and explicit. Competition between both the parties is fierce and direct. For example, negotiation between management representatives and labour union or war between two countries. A more simple example of it is debate, in which one speaker emphasises and justifies his own point while questioning the validity of opponents point of view. The explicit aim is to defeat the opponent and ensure ones victory.
Objective conflict occurs when one group tries to gain advantage over another group or groups. Thus by objective social conflict we mean a social situation inherently benefits some while causing loss to others. For example, it is often seen that when government takes some welfare steps, some people are more benefitted but some others receive less than expected benefits and still some others are at loss. This gives rise to a kind of social conflict known as objective social conflict.
When a person identifies or perceives a situation involving struggle it is known as subjective conflict. Sometimes a person remains in a state of subjective struggle without bringing it to overt level.