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Marxist thoery on culture

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Marxist theory on Culture Anywhere and everywhere you travel around the world, you would feel a sense of different kind of cultures compared to your own. Culture can be defined as all the knowledge and values shared by a society and their way of life. There are many factors in which culture include, for example, different types of food, language, the dominant value of society, religious beliefs, etc. In British society, the majority would follow the same way of life, for example, the dominant language (English), dominant religion (Christianity), going to pubs, Shakespeare, etc. Karl Marx who was a sociologist over a century ago, he had a belief that, culture is that the most powerful members of a society, are those who live in the ruling class. These members set up the culture of a society in order to promote the interests of the ruling class and capitalism. A functionalist sociologist called Emile Durkheim argued against the theory of Marx. However, not only Durkheim but Postmodernism argues against Marxist theory on culture. Karl Marx believed that culture focuses on the economic organisation of modern societies, the fact that societies like the UK are capitalist's societies characterized by class inequality in wealth, income and power. ...read more.


It can also be stated that this type of mass media can be 'dumbed down' and simplified in order to make it easier for people to understand it, so this enables to appeal to a mass audience. Mass culture is said to be benefiting capitalism as it encourages consumerism and materialism so people go out and buy products at false needs. The industry would benefit from this as they are making money. Marxist would support the views stated above of mass culture as the ruling class benefit in every way and consumerism helps the ruling class make money. Another point can be that work force needs top be passive, not go on strikes and work hard, so the status quo is maintained. Although, Popular culture is similar to mass culture as they both support the concept of cultural forms enjoyed by many people, it criticises the idea that the majority are passive. This is commercially produced and examples include films, TV, programmes, magazines, etc. The Frankfurt school view mass culture to be making people passive and accepting capitalism. Whereas, popular cultures goes against the views of the Frankfurt school as it encourages people to be active, for example, punks (rebellion), so popular culture is seen to be challenging the status quo. ...read more.


Global culture is challenging nationalism as a source of identity, through electronic communication, e-mail, telephone, etc. transitional companies include Sony, McDonalds, Nike, etc. Global Marketing includes cinema, music, computer games which all contribute towards consumption. So as a result, postmodernism criticises the Marxist view on culture and it states that people are starting to become more and more active. In Conclusion, the theory of Karl Marx is that people in society are passive and are controlled by the ruling class. The ruling class use the superstructure to send certain messages and ideas and ensure that the status quo is maintained. However, many sociologist have argued against this, a sociologist called Emile Durkheim argued that people in society are become more active, this can be supported by strikes being held for higher pay or better working conditions or protests against certain countries such as Israel. However, there are still those who are passive as it benefits capitalism brings such as living standards and materialism. Durkheim argues his consensus theory against Marx's conflict theory. Postmodernism also argue that people now have become more active. This is because people now can work part-time, choose their own hours or work from home. So postmodernism state that society has changed vastly overall such as work, identity, culture, globalisation and knowledge. Overall, the Marxist theory of culture can be challenged against by functionalist such as Durkheim and Postmodernists. ?? ?? ?? ?? Amir Sheikh ...read more.

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