AQA A2 Sociology- Theory- Marxism

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  • Emergence of class divisions
    • Overtime people produce more than we need so some people don't have to work as they are supported by the work of others = division of labour.
    • People have material needs (food clothing etc) and to gain these we enter social relationships of production.
    • Theory- Marxism
      • Capitalism
        • What makes this society different to the past?
          • W/C not legally bound but must sell their labour- not paid the value of their labour = exploitation.
          • Competition is in fewer hands = larger companies beat smaller businesses. It allows R/C to pay the lowest wages.
          • Technology has deskilled the workforce justifying the low wages.
      • Class Conscience
        • Tensions between R/C and W/C would break under capitalism as this type of society sows the seeds of its own destruction.
        • Under capitalism W/C go from being a class in itself (false class conscience) to a class for itself (develop class sconceince.)
      • Ideology
        • R/C se ideological tools to control the W/C
          • Family: Socialise children to R/C values. It acts as a safety value by soaking up frustrations so its not aimed at capitalism.
          • Ed: Promotes R/C values and pupils are taught to be passive and suubserviant to serve the needs of the economy.
          • Religion= opiate- dulls the pain of oppression.
        • R/C own the means of production as W/C are isolated and have no control over the production, and they are reduced to unskilled labour constantly repeating the same task = oppression.
      • Eval
        • Over emphasises the extent of conflict- functionalists say society is stable and shared values are possible.
        • Ignores other inequalities  (gender and ethnicity)
        • The superstructure and infrastructure is too simplistic
        • Too deterministic- not everyone is passive and accepts what they are told without question.
        • Postmodernists- this meta narrative isn't important and the main social dividsion now arise around individual choices.
      • Neo-Marxism
        • Gramsci
          • Hegemony: dominance of R/C ideas and acceptance by the rest of society.
          • Dominance of R/C = main reason why W/C haven't rebelled.
        • Althusser
          • 3 levels:
            • Economic: consists of economy and the production of material goods
            • Political level: consists of the government and organisations of repressive state apparatus (police, army courts etc.)
            • Ideological level: consists of ideas, belkeufs, values and the ideological state apparatus.
        • Eval:
          • Relative autonomy:  recognises that people's ideas can impact the economy not the other way round
          • Marxist: argue marx did recognise the importance of ideas and meanings in his class consciousness discussions

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