Marxism - Theory (and Methods) Unit 4

Marxist theory and their different views on the way society functions.

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  • Created on: 22-05-13 19:16
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  • Marxism
    • Gramsci & hegemony
      • Hegemony - how the rulling class maintain their position
        • 1. Coercion: the army, police, prisons, and courts (forcing individuals to conform
        • 2. Consent: using ideas and values to persuade the 'subordinates' the rules are legitimate
      • The hegemony is never complete
        • Ruling class form the minority so promises must be made to the lower classes
        • The proletariat have a dual consious - they begin to 'see through' the dominant ideology
        • Mass unemployment create the pre-conditions for a revolt: whether it will actually occur?) is central to the idea
        • The working class will only gain leadership with a 'counter-hegemonic bloc' by producing their own intellectuals
    • Althusser's structuralism
      • 2. The ideological and repressive state apparatuses
        • B. ISAs manipulate the w/c into accepting the legitimacy of capitalism
        • A. RSAs or 'armed bodies of men' that coerce the w/c into complying
      • 1. Criticisms of the base superstructure model
        • Marx - Economic base determines the its superstructure
        • Capitalist society has three structures or levels
          • ii. Political
          • i. Economic
          • iii. Ideological
      • 3. Criticisms of humanism
        • Unseen structures create the illusion of free will, choice & creativity
        • A core breakdown in all 3 structural levels will lead to a revolution. (Over-deterministic)
    • Society is divided between the infrastructure and the super-structure
    • Macro-approach
    • Main focus: the historical development and social relations of western capitalism
      • Bourgeoisie exploitation of the labour force, the proletariat
    • Social change is inevitable until the attainment of a communist society


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