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Marxism and Functionilism

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Introduction

The similarities and differences of Marxism and Functionalism Marxism and Functionalism are two, often opposing sociological theories, which macro analyse society. In this essay I will be explaining the differences and similarities they share. Both Marxism and Functionalism are structural theories. They theorise that society is created from interlinking concepts and values, such as education, family and the economy. Yet they differ on the interpretation of the importance of such factors. Marxists believe that the infrastructure of society is the economy and it has generated a superstructure that operates in a way to support these inequalities created by the economic system. Such as the family, as part of the superstructure reflects this in its role in to socialise the children to work hard and accept authority. ...read more.

Middle

The largest conflict of all is the class conflict between the bourgeoisie and the Proletariat. They see society maintaining this conflict by the bourgeoisie being predominately in control, and imposing rules on everybody that benefit in their favour. Often everyone else do not realise this. Contrastingly Functionalists view the rules governing society as coming from a general agreement, and what's right for everybody else is right for us. For example murder is immoral and illegal because the vast majority of society agrees with this. This is called a consensus theory. The agreement on rules and morals helps guide society in a smooth way to function. Functionalists emphasise order as normative and even when these norms are broken, they are still seen as functional. ...read more.

Conclusion

Whereas functionalists argue every aspect or core value of society as having potential to evolve and develop. Another similarity between the two paradigms is the passive view on man, where he is forced into choice by the structures and systems of society and has little autonomy within these structures. For example Marxists see the proletariat as being passive by accepting false conscience, not realising the rules imposed on them are not for their benefit nor ever help them develop as a class. Similarly functionalists see society as willing to accept the rules and maintain order with little question. This over generalisation of man can obscure their perception on society. In conclusion Functionalism and Marxism are largely polar opposites in their critiques, yet have similarities in a lot of their fundamental theories and the way they view society on a macro level. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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