• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Assess the contribution of the Marxist perspective to sociology

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Assess the contribution of the Marxist perspective to sociology The Marxist perspective is associated with Karl Marx, who saw history in terms of there being an over all conflict between different social classes known as the ruling class and the working class. All the power of society was monopolized by the ruling class (individuals who owned the means of production) and provided the tension for conflict. Marx believed that a revolution would occur with the ruling class being over thrown by the working class, and it was only a matter of time before it would happen. He also saw human society as being based on the production of good, arguing that society had a material base. Marx thought the only way that this revolution could be avoided was if society became communist, as there was no economic surplus and no private wealth, so classes couldn't exist within society. ...read more.

Middle

Marx put forward the claim that religion existed to give the working class promises of better things in the afterlife waiting for them, (e.g. some religions make it a good thing that suffering occurs in life, as it gets rewarded in heaven). Also in the case of Marxist perspective on religion there is a large amount of evidence to support what the Marxist view of the role of religion in society. Another piece of Marxist research that was quite influential was Bowles and Gintis. They believed that the major role of education in capitalist society was is to reproduce labour power. Bowles and Gintis regard work as being exploitive and alienating, which is a positive thing for capitalist society as capitalism requires a hard working, obedient, highly motivated work force. The education system hopes to achieve these objectives through the use of a hidden curriculum, which consists of the things pupils learn through the experience of attending at school rather than the stated educational objectives. ...read more.

Conclusion

Marxism is also criticised for economic determinism, which is seeing individual's behaviour as determined by the economic system around them. This view neglects to show the existence for individuals having free choice. In defence of this, Marxists state that the theory isn't economically deterministic, but just raises the point that individuals and groups in cultures have to make their own history, but the economic structure that surrounds them is a main factor in determining which context the process takes place. Marx wanted to prove that the revolution would happen, as he wanted society as a whole to become communist. Also if the revolution did happen it would support his perspective and prove that he was right in his research in to the ruling class and the working class. The revolution would prove Popper wrong in that he had stated he thought this part of Marx's theory was the only unfalsifiable part of it, as it could happen at anytime and hadn't been precisely laid out. If the revolution were to happen Marx would be seen as scientific. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Political Philosophy section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Political Philosophy essays

  1. "What are the main strengths and weaknesses of Marxist histories"?

    Historical Materialism is a theory that is sometimes known as the materialist conception of history or the economic interpretation of history. It was the research program of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engel's.

  2. An analysis of the Marxist perspective on religion

    that you are in pain and need to do something to make you feel better. You want relief from an intolerable situation. To get this relief you take a pain-killer. After a while, the pain goes away and you feel much better.

  1. An analysis of the Marxist Perspective on Religion

    capital, they must try all methods possible to legitimate and reproduce class inequality. The status quo is enforced and given justification through the use of the education system, the mass media and through religion. Religion as 'the opium of the people.'

  2. Discuss the conflicts between Employee and Employer by Marxist

    3.2 In Marxism 3.2.1 Labour Power What we have to be clear about is what the capitalist has bought. The worker has sold not his labour but his ability to work. This Marx calls his labour power. Also, as Marx defines, 'labour power is the abstraction of human labour into

  1. Power and Politics in Organizations: Public and Private Sector Comparisons

    might be indicated, for they might not have sufficient freedom to act on the substance of policies. It is one thing to tinker with or change the methods used in the implementation of public policies but quite another to attempt a shift in substance.

  2. Is the Liberal perspective on world politics too idealistic?

    They see the world in a positive light they argue that progress is possible in the international spectrum.

  1. An analysis of the Marxist perspective on religion

    For that reason Marx suggests the way to 'abolish the problem of Judaism is to reorganise society so as to abolish bargaining'. The importance of these statements is that Marx sees economic life, not religion, as the chief form of human alienation.

  2. From a Marxist perspective, assess the claim that work in Capitalist society is both ...

    The way in which a Marxist would approach this takes us back to the idea of labour as a commodity and the central distinction between use value and exchange value. Use value is the value of a commodity to the person who uses it, i.e.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work