Critically examine the Marxist perspective on today's society

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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.

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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 consciousness which they are experiencing; this would result in a revolution taking place which would then result in the society becoming a communist one where everyone has the same status, pay and status. However, many sociologists argue that this idea created by Marx cannot be applied to today’s society due to the fact that a revolution has not occurred. Although there have been some revolutions in the past within some societies, such as ...

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