Marxist perspectives of religion

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  • Created on: 03-06-14 09:37
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  • Marxist theories of religion
    • Ideology
      • Number of different ideological perspectives. All agree that there are major belief systems within society, which are shaped by interests of powerful groups.- However they don't agree about who the powerful groups are and the extent of their impact.
      • Marxist argue that the capitalist class and other class-based society's are dominated by a ruling class - a set of beliefs that support the interests of the dominant economic class in society.
    • Marxists believe society is split into two classes .
      • 1.Dominant ruling class or bourgeoisie who own the means of production, such as capital, machinery, land and labor power.
      • 2. A subject class which does not own the means to production and therefore has to work for the ruling class in order to survive.
    • Structure of society has two parts:
      • A. The economic base, which includes the means to production and is controlled by the ruling class.
      • B. The superstructure, which includes all the non-economic parts of society including the  state, all mass media, education and religion.
    • The Marxist perspective argues that the ruling class exploit the subject class and attempt to maintain their dominance over them by controlling the ideas and beliefs and values of society ........
      • THE GERMAN IDEOLOGY (1846) :
        • Marx and Engels argued that "The idea of the ruling class are, in every age,the ruling ideas."
        • Marx believed that within capitalist societies the dominant ideology is reproduced partly through the mass media. This encourages:
          • Acceptance of capitalism as the best or only viable economic system.
          • Acceptance of the power of the capitalist state
          • A consumer culture to consumer the products of capitalism to make profits for companies.
          • A passive workforce which does not question its low wages.


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