Karl Marx's Influence on Sociology and Political Thought Essays
2587 Words11 Pages
There can be no doubt over the wide-ranging influence of Karl Marx’s theories on sociology and political thought. His concept of communism overcoming the socioeconomic pitfalls of capitalism has not been a theory that has seen the light of day in the way that he may have hypothesised. There have been many throughout history that have misrepresented Marx’s writing, which begs the question, if pure communism in the original Marxist sense is at all possible given that humanity appears to have an innate ‘need’ for hierarchy and a thirst for power.
Capitalism appears to satisfy the ‘need’ for power and acquisition above all else, and the evidence is seen in the growth of global wealth, which certainly does not amount to equal wealth. The…show more content…
Marx rejected Hegel’s dialectics based on a movement of human thought and ideas, and argued that dialectics involved contradictions based on an economic system, otherwise known as dialectical materialism. Therefore, the dynamic for change eventually created by a process of dialectics lies in the conflict between two opposing factors (Lee and Newby 2000, pp. 114 - 119).
Marx conceived the base and superstructure approach that defines capitalist society. The base relates to all that is a function of production in society and conversely, the superstructure, which can be said to be derived from the base, relates to the values, culture, ideology and the governing bodies of society. The former creates and supports the latter by a process of legitimisation of the economic activities, and in turn, the superstructure ensures the processes remain in place. Class domination plays a large part in this process of organisation; for example, private education providing better opportunities for advancement and primary socialisation into the higher echelons of society. However, a counter argument claims that the state is just as involved in the stresses and “struggles of civil society’’ as opposed to being a mere extension of it for the pure benefit of a particular class interest (Held 2001, in Hall and Gieben 2001, p 113).
According to Marx, the act of production and means of organisation thereof, including the relationship between members of the
Marx, Durkheim, Weber and Sociology Essay
1681 Words7 Pages
The theoretical works of Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim and Max Weber still influence sociological theory. Though their works are decades old they still are a major part of what sociology is today. Though their theories can seem very different, there are some similarities. To become a great sociologist one most learn and understands how to use all sociological perspectives. To do this one must understand and use the different theoretical perspectives created by Marx, Durkheim, and Weber.
Karl Marx theoretical perspective on conflict is by far one the most interesting theories in sociology. Born into a middle class family in Germany, he had a very close relationship with his father. Marx began his studies in law, but switched to philosophy.…show more content…
Those who control means of production have power over the rest of the society (Morrison, 2006). Marx saw two very different social classes.
The first being the proletariat or those who work who own the means of production. The second class being the Bourgeoisie, or the owners of the means of production (Morrison, 2006). Marx believed that because one group had power over another is the root cause for social issues. When Marx saw the conflict between these two classes, he began to look for an understanding how it began. Marx focused on the change to a capitalistic society, by looking at the history of economic development. Marx believed that the economy went though different economic stages.
He believed that each economic development had their own laws (Morrison, 2006). Marx saw that capitalism began because of industrialization.
Conflict theory allows us to see the conflict between social life and capitalism. Marx saw the power struggle between classes and felt that it is wrong to ignore inequality. One of the biggest inequalities between the two classes was the alienation of the workers (Morrison, 2006). Only one class, the wealthy gains the full benefit of the labor. An example of this is a worker who builds something that they will never be able to afford. Because of this the worker loses control of their production. This is what conflict theory is, the power struggle between two