Asses the Marxist Views on Society

In: Other Topics

Submitted By georgiahicks
Words 1004
Pages 5
Assess the Marxist views of society (33 marks)

When looking at the Marxists views of society there are three main theorists to look at, Marx, Gramsci and Althusser. All of these theorists focus on how capitalism has been maintained in many societies and how eventually it will be over thrown. Both Gramsci and Althusser’s ideas originate from the works of Karl Marx who, unlike functionalist Emile Durkheim, saw no evolutionary progress of society but a gradual change in which capitalism would increase human misery.
Marx suggested that capitalism needed to replaced by ideas such as communism. He looked at historical materialism and suggested that our society is altered by forces of production from the base and the superstructure. He argues that capitalist production forms the economic base and this ultimately shapes our superstructure, like institutions, religion, law and education. However, Althusser criticises this for being too simplistic and suggests a more complex two way causality model. He argues there are three levels; Economic level: comprising all those activities that involve producing something in order to satisfy and need. Political level: comprising all forms of organisation. And the Ideological level: involving the ways that people see themselves and their world. He believes each level can affect each other and impact different choices and beliefs on each level. This approach discourages political action because it is the role of structural forces rather than free will; it is active struggler of the working class that change society. On the other hand, Gramsci rejects that movement to communism will be brought out by economic forces.
Karl Marx looked at class consciousness and concluded that capitalism will eventually destroy itself. By polarising the classes and creating a larger proletariat from the form middle classes, this large group of people…...

Similar Documents

Using Material from Item and Elsewhere, Asses the Different Marxist View of the Relationship Between Crime and Social Class

...Using material from Item and elsewhere, asses the different Marxist view of the relationship between crime and social class (21marks) Marxist believes that in a capitalist society inequality and exploitation of the working class is inevitable. When assessing the relationship between crime and social class Marxist believe because of this exploitation crime inevitable. However there are two main views to this theory traditional and neo Marxist which believes in the same functions of crime (that is inevitable) however has conflicting views on how this occurs. Traditional Marxist believe capitalist society explains crime in 3 main functions criminogenic capitalism, the state and law making, and the ideological functions of crime. Criminogenic capitalism explains that the working class have no other option but to commit crime this may be because; they live in poverty so have no choice but to commit crime, lack of control over their lives therefore due to frustration commit non ulitarian crime such as vandalism, or Ulitarian crime may be the only way they can obtain goods that are advertised in capitalist culture. Traditional Marxism state it is not only working class that commit crime they state that a capitalist society encourages greed therefore promotes white collar crime such as corporate crime. From this the relationship between crime and social class is fairly equal as they both are victims of a capitalistic society. Gordon explains this as a ration response to the......

Words: 488 - Pages: 2

Aladdin, a Marxist View

...certain though. As far back as history is documented, the Islamic culture has had an extremely harsh class system. The struggle of classes in Islamic culture was most likely the reason for the writing of Aladdin, and the passing on of its lessons as well. Aladdin is more than just a children’s fairytale, as it is an informative work that depicts the struggle and persecution of the lower classes in Islamic society, especially when view through a Marxist literary lens. The tale begins by introducing a boy named Aladdin as a thief. In literary works, a thief is normally not portrayed as a hero unless the stealing is done for the common good of the proletariat, like Robin Hood (Carpenter, Prichard). In contrast, Aladdin steals due to his lack of economical assets because of his class standing, and thus, for the good of only himself. Only due to the title of the piece, and events that occur a little later in the piece, can we assume that he is in fact the hero of the story. For the introduction of the tale, though, he seems as though a lowly thief, who is an outcast in society, disliked by members of the community. Aladdin does eventually end up in a jail, which is the unlikely place where the reader begins to root for him. In the prison is also where the reader is introduced to the antagonist. A man attempts to pose as the brother of Aladdin’s father who recently passed away, and succeeds in doing so. This man is a sorcerer, and due to his higher rank in social class, can get...

Words: 1321 - Pages: 6

Asses the Marxist View That the Main Role of the Family Is to Serve the Interest of Capitalism.

...Asses the Marxist view that the main role of the family is to serve the interest of capitalism. Within sociology there are many different perspectives on the family. Each different perspective sees different things as the main role of the family. Marxists view the family in a very critical way. They believe that the main role of the family is to serve the interest of capitalism. They also believe that the family is seen as an institution which serves to maintain the position of the ruling class. Karl Marx's view on the capitalistic approach shows the unequal nature of the economic system. He shows how the middle and upper class take advantage of the working class and their labour; and that the working class are a tool used to create profit and to keep profit margins at acceptable levels. Marx also argues that the monogamous upper class nuclear family is developed to help solve the problem of the inheritance of private property. The men needed to know who their children were in order to pass on their property on. The family was therefore thought to be designed to control women and protect property. It encourages male power and dominance through the inheritance of property. Marxists argue that the families function is to socialise us into the ruling class ideology. They see the family as an institution which serves and maintains the position of the ruling class. As a result of this they see the family class split into two categories, a small powerful ruling class dominated......

Words: 971 - Pages: 4

Asses the View That Interpretivist Methods Are the Most Appropiate Methods for Researching Society

...“Asses the view that interpretivist methods are the most appropiate methods for researching society” Bryman argued that Interpretive Sociology, also known as Phenomenological approaches, is set out to understand varieties of human behaviour by being able to emphatize with it. In order to do this, interpretive sociologist use interpretivist methods. This essay will asses wheter these methods are the most appropiate ones for researching society, focusing on Ethnographic research, Focus groups and Sampling. First of all, it is important to understand why do interpretive researchers prefer interpretivist methods, also known as qualitative methods. Qualitative methods are any type of methods that aim to undercover the meaning of social action rather than measuring it. Qualitative research allows to search for the meaning for participants of events, situations and actions. Interpretivist argue that a full understanding of society can only be presented by understanding how individuals build up their patterns of interactions. This type of research usually studies small scale groups in specific situations, which allows the researchers to preserve the individuality of each in their analyses. This provides them with a detailed understanding of the events, actions and meaning. In contrast to positivist research, qualitative researches dont necessarily have an idea of what they are looking for in a research, but instead, start with a particular area of interest and follow the......

Words: 1381 - Pages: 6

Asses the View That the Education System Serves to Maintain a Capitalist Society.

...Asses the view that the education system serves to maintain a capitalist society. The education system can be seen to support the capitalist system. Education trains us for the workplace and it teaches us skills that make us employable which is part of the capitalist system. Also it teaches us to be punctual and to obey rules so we are compliant in the workforce. It teaches us to accept our status and authority figures in life and stick to the role we are in. The capitalist system shows that there are winners and losers, just like in education. Marxists see the state as Capitalist dominated. Althusser says the state consists of two elements which serve to keep the bourgeoisie and these are the repressive and ideological state apparatuses. The repressive state apparatuses include police and the army and when necessary use physical force to control the working class. The ideological state apparatuses are the bourgeoisie controlling the people’s ideas, beliefs and values. His theory ensures that working-class pupils will end up in working-class jobs and accept their roles. The capitalist society need people to do the low paid, hard labour, gritty jobs, they need students to fail, as high achieves would want to continue their education and aim for higher paid jobs . Bowles and Ginntis argue that capitalism requires a work force that has the right attitude and behaviour for that role and in their view the role of the education system in a capitalist society is too produce...

Words: 525 - Pages: 3

Examine the Marxist View of the Family

...Examine the Marxist view of the family Marxists believe that the nuclear family is dominant in capitalist’s society. They see the family as performing essential functions, but negative functions. These functions benefit the minority in power (bourgeoisie) and the economy. The functions disadvantage the working class society (proletant). Marxists believe that the family is a unit of consumption. Family members go out to work to earn money. With their wages/salary they purchase goods such as food, clothing and electrical goods, from capitalist manufacturers. The bourgeoisie make a profit from this. Zaretsky (1976) backed this theory up by saying that when a man returns home form work he is the ‘king of his castle’. This helps him to accept his low work status by allowing him to believe he has a high status at home. However, whilst men think that they are the ruler of the home, Morgan (1996) argues that the source of power with in the family is food. Whilst the man may bring home the money, the mother’s typical role is to shop for food, unpack it, decide on a meal and cook it. This shows that the mother is ruling the household as she is determining what the family eats and when they eat. Marxists also believe that the family socialise children to accept capitalism and levels of hierarchy through the use of authority of parents and obedience of children. This will teach children that in working life, someone will always be higher up in the hierarchy than you. ...

Words: 906 - Pages: 4

Asses the View That the Main Role of the Nuclear Family Is to Maintain a Patriarchal Society (24)

...patriarchal society and women seem to have less economic power than men. Radical feminists strongly state that the main role of the nuclear family is to maintain a patriarchal society, they back this up with the fact they believe that it's only for the benefit of men and creates male superiority, radical feminist say that men oppress women and exploit them and say they use their superior strength, capacity for violence and the biological fact that females depend on males for reproduction as means for controlling and dominating women. One radical feminist called Purdy said the only solution to overcome this would be to have a baby strike she said that this would make men take women's claims To equality more seriously. Marxist feminist argue that the main role of the family is to promote capitalist and is classed based they also agree that the nuclear family promotes a patriarchal society and say is also promotes patriarchy as women face oppression in the family, they also argue that the state put pressure on women as mothers and say this is reinforced by social policies of the state for example women are entitled to receive maternity pay whilst men's paternity pay is less, thus reinforcement the idea that the male is the breadwinner and worker whilst the female acts as the caring housewife and mother. However liberal feminists on the other hand believe things are gradually becoming better for women compared to many years ago in both the family and society and this is......

Words: 502 - Pages: 3

Asses the Functionalist View That a Small Amount of Crime Is Useful to Society

...Assess the functionalist view that a small amount of crime is useful to society There is a long running argument between sociologists about the existence of crime and deviance and whether or not it can benefit societies in some ways. Many of them in the functionalist point of view argue that it can however, there are many, for example Marxists and feminists, which would argue that it doesn’t benefit anyone. Durkheim, the ‘founding father’ of functionalism believed that a small amount of crime in a society is necessary toward creating a perfect society, due to the three functions or outcomes that crime induces upon its occurrence: boundary maintenance, adaptation and change and social solidarity. Boundary maintenance is the effect that crime has upon the conformers within the society in which they see or hear about a crime and then know where the boundaries of their actions lie, due to the reaction of the authorities from the crime carried out and from the severity of the punishment given to the law-breaker, acting almost as a deterrent of crime toward the wider society. Adaptation and change is an outcome of a crime and is what can be done to prevent that crime from happening, as it perhaps show that parts of the society and community are flawed and need to be adjusted so that everybody can live better lives and not think they need to break the law to get the things they want or deviate from the consensus values to get what they want either. A large scale crime, for......

Words: 1010 - Pages: 5

Asses Different Marxist Views of the Relationship Between Crime and Social

...Asses different Marxist views of the relationship between crime and social class (21 marks) Class is directly associated with economic, social and political power. Therefore meaning that people on the top of hierarchy tend to have more resources and therefore no need of stealing any more money or committing crimes. On the other hand this is not true as this is neglected by the fact as upper/middle class commit crimes often but they are not prosecuted for them the same way as working class or unemployed. The link between social class and crime and deviance is so significant that it is incorporated in many theories such as the traditional Marxists that view working class crime as motivated by inequalities and bourgeois crime by greed. They sympathise with working class victims of ruling class crime but not vice versa and believe the criminal justice system favours the ruling class. From their point of view they see that the Laws are made by the state, which represents the interests of ruling class meaning that they are less likely to commit crimes as they will adapt them to their advantage. This line of argument forms the basis of a theory of widespread crime and selective law enforcement; crime occurs right the way through society, but poor criminals receive harsher treatment than rich criminals. Marxists emphasise white collar, corporate crime. They note that crimes of the upper class exert a greater economic toll on society than the crimes of the ordinary......

Words: 473 - Pages: 2

Marxist View on Education

...Outline and asses the Marxist view of the role of education in society. The Marxist view on the role of education in society is a critical one. Marxists see education as a system of reproducing inequalities between working and middle class. Society needs skilled and unskilled workers, so Marxists see education as responsible for providing these types of workers, in the interest of the economy. However, there are other sociologists like Paul and Wills, David Reynolds and Henry Giroux who had another opinion on the role of education in society. For example, Paul and Wills, who criticized Althusser, believes that the Marxist view is over deterministic and it fails to consider the power that students have to resist against the system. Firstly, Bowles and Gintis believe in the importance of the hidden curriculum, rather than the content of the curriculum, because students learn to accept the norms and the values of the capitalist society. For example, they learn how to be competitive and work hard for rewards. Bowles and Gintis saw a strong correspondence between what students learn in schools and what is required from workers. They found that pupils who get higher grades are those who follow the system, without questioning and the success is not necessarily related to intellectual ability. These qualities are valued in workers as they will accept the authority of their employers, and not question their orders. They also argued that these are the norms and values of the ruling...

Words: 801 - Pages: 4

Outline the Marxist View of the Family

...evaluate the Marxist view of the family Marxism looks at the methods of control of the ruling class (bourgeoisie) in determining the way society is organized. The family is seen as part of the structure of society and is one of a number of social institutions which help maintain the capitalist system. Marxists state that it is the requirements of this system that has come to shape the family in modern societies. From a Marxist perspective, society revolves around the infrastructure and social superstructure. The superstructure maintains the infrastructure whilst the infrastructure shapes the superstructure. Middle Engels stated that this system is maintained by the socialisation of capitalist social norms and values. Marxists do not see this as benefiting the family at all, only the system, and therefore this helps support their theory that the family exists as a largely negative institution. Zaretsky (1979) looked at the change in the family from a unit of production to a unit of consumption. Like Engels, he noted that socialisation was used to instill values and norms applicable to the system of capitalism. He saw the family as a tool of capitalist society that is vital for its survival, and observed how many features of the modern family supported it, like spending on leisure activities and encouraging aspirations such as owning a house and attaining wealth. Conclusion The family was observed to provide a source of satisfaction that cannot be found in society as a......

Words: 363 - Pages: 2

Assess the Marxist View of the Role of

...AS Sociology Sample 20 mark question Assess the Marxist view of the role of education (20 marks) Marxists view society as based on conflict. They believe that the role of all institutions in society can be understood in terms of how they relate to the economic system. They therefore see the education system as an institution which reproduces the class system and provides the economy with a suitable workforce. The labour force needs professional and managerial workers, as well as skilled and unskilled manual workers. According to Marxists, the role of the education system is to provide workers for every part of the economy. Support for this Marxist view comes from Bowls and Gintis who highlight a strong correspondence between what is learnt in schools and what is required in workers for the Capitalist system. For example, they found that in school the pupils who succeed the most are obedient and unquestioning, rather than independent and inquisitive. Bowles and Gintis believe that these qualities are valued in workers as they will accept the authority of their employers, and not question their orders. Bowles and Gintis believe that the content of the curriculum is not very important and that pupils learn most from the ‘hidden curriculum’, that is; the experience of being in school e.g. getting used to doing boring things for the reward of the qualification etc. However Bowles and Gintis have been criticised mainly because they did not actually conduct any......

Words: 563 - Pages: 3

Assess Marxist View of Society

...Asses the Marxist View of Society Marxists believe that the ideas that people hold are formed by their position in society, and ideology is therefore seen very clearly as the ideas of particular social groups reflecting their interests. The Marxist view is most associated with the view that there is a dominant ideology in society. This is a set of ideas and beliefs held by the most powerful groups and, in particular, of the ruling class in society. Mannheim (1985 1936) generally associated the dominant ideology with the deliberate obscuring of facts in order to conceal the inequalities of capitalist society and to prevent existing patterns of inequality and the privileged position of the dominant class, and to prevent any social change that might threaten their interests. Althusser (1971) suggested the dominant ideology was spread through a series of ideological state apparatuses – social institutions like the family, the education system, the mass media, the and religion, which justified the power of the dominant social class. Gramsci (1971) further developed the Marxist view of ideology with his development of the concept of hegemony. Hegemony refers to process whereby the ruling class, through the dominant ideology, maintains its power by persuading other social classes, and particularly the working class, to adopt ruling-class ideology as part of their own beliefs and values, and therefore to consent to the rule of the dominant class rather than being forced to obey.......

Words: 517 - Pages: 3

Outline and Asses Marxist Theories on Social Inequalities.

...Outline and asses marxist theories on social inequalities. Marxism is a political, social, and economic philosophy derived from the work of the 19th-century historians Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. It views human history as a struggle between social classes and asserts that capitalism is inherently exploitative. According to Marxism, social inequality is an unfair situation, in which some individuals or groups have more money, influence and power etc over others, usually referring to the bourgeoisie, who use this advantage to oppress the proletariats. Marxists would argue that social inequality is caused by false class consciousness, and that eventually would lead to a revaluation. Marxism is a conflict theory, focusing on inequalities and divisions within society. According to Karl Marx, all stratified societies have two major classes, the bourgeoisie (rich) and the proletariats (poor). The rich owns the means of production, such as land capital, machinery etc, while the poor does not, this gives the ruling class the power to exploit the lower class, through the use of the superstructure, e.g. the legal and political system to justify their actions and maintain social order, due to the fact that the ruling class have more influence compared to the working class. According to Karl Marx, the rich exploits the working class who have to sell their labour to survive, thus creating huge inequalities, furthermore, due to the fact that many working class people rely on......

Words: 1090 - Pages: 5

Marxist View of Society

...Critically examine Marxist perspective on today’s society (33 marks) The Marxist perspective is based on the works of Karl Marx and argues that society is divided into two classes; the upper class, referred to as the bourgeoisie, and the working class, referred to as the proletariat. According to Marxism, the bourgeoisie exploit the proletariat by making them work long hours with little rewards, whilst they receive all the benefits – this is what Marx referred to as capitalism. In this capitalist system, the working class experience a false class consciousness; this is where they are not aware of the fact that they are being exploited by the ruling class. Marx claimed that the only way to resolve this conflict between the two classes is by evolving from a capitalist society into a communist society, where everyone is equal. However, many sociologists disagree with Marxism and Marx’s ideas of the capitalist system, this is due to the fact that in today’s society, there has been a massive growth in a third class – the middle class. This was growth of the middle class was not predicted by Marx, therefore leaving many sociologists to question whether other ideas suggested by Marx and elaborated by Marxism are valid and true to today’s society. Therefore the Marxist perspective cannot be applied to today’s society. Marx claimed that the working class within society would realise that they are being exploited by the ruling class and break free from their false class......

Words: 743 - Pages: 3

Ivaylo Dimitrov | Biographies | Eleanor Zee