• 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"?

    The fundamental proposition of historical materialism can be summed up in a briefly: That consciousness is determined by your being, thought is limited by the range of experience of the species, and further limited more extensively through language. Marx states that language defines humans and is an additional means of social control.

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

    Unlike Classic Liberalism it agrees with Realism that states are the most important actors in world politics. Although they do maintain that IGO's play a role in international relations. Neoliberalism believes that states are focused on absolute gains ( economic) rather than relative gains to other nations. (Gray, John. 1993)

  1. An analysis of the Marxist perspective on religion

    To further understand what Marx is trying to say we must examine exactly what he meant when he states religion is "the opium of the people"1. To do this I will use an analogy. Suppose you have a headache. You don't know what the cause of it is, but only

  2. An essay on David Ricardo's Major Contribution to Economics

    His review of Ricardo's work in 1818 greatly helped to boost the sales of the treatise. The third supporter was Thomas de Quincy (1785-1859), although he was better known as a writer rather than an economist he was nevertheless a true advocate of Ricardo's theories.

  1. Discuss the conflicts between Employee and Employer by Marxist

    (Watson, 1995). 3. Conflict between Employer and Employees 3.1 In Management Studies In management, they say conflict is between employees or between employees and employers. In other words, conflict is a disagreement between two or more individual, groups or organisations.

  2. How does Habermas connect sociology with human emancipation? Do you find his arguments convincing?

    Habermas rejects this position and according to Pusey instead argues that "the validity of scientific knowledge, of hermeneutic understanding, and of mundane knowledge always depends as much on its 'subjective', and inter-subjective, constituents as it does on any methodologically verifiable observation and experience of the object-world" (1987, pg. 22).

  1. Compare and contrast the pluralist, elitist and Marxist theories of the state.

    For pluralist thinkers, the State is considered to be a form of regulation between the various sectional interests that exist in society. In this respect, the State is seen to mediate between various interests, promoting compromise between competing groups where possible and generally attempting to take a long-term view of social development.

  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