Critically examine the marxist approach to today's society (33 marks) :D

Critically examine the marxist approach to today's society (33 marks)

I got an A on this essay ((whoop whoop :D))

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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.
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 in Russia, they have not
occurred in all societies. Also, Marx's idea of communism being better than
capitalism has been questioned by many sociologists, especially within today's
society; some societies which are communist, such as China, are seen to be
`oppressing' to its members. This due to the fact that the members of communist
societies do not have a say in their government's actions and are monitored on a
daily basis when they use certain forms of media, such as the internet. Therefore
Marx's idea that communism would result in a better society cannot be applied to
today's society.
However, some sociologist argue that Marxism can be applied to today's society
as it claims that the capitalist system is maintained by a superstructure, all the
institutions and a base, this is the production of relations and means. The base
consists of a relations of production (this is the unequal relationship between the
bourgeoisie and the proletariat) and the means of production (these are the
material resources needed to produce things which are owned by the
bourgeoisie). The base and superstructure maintain each other. This idea of the
base and superstructure can still be applied to today's society as the base which
shapes the superstructure has changed from manual work to service work and
therefore can still be applied to today's society even though the form of work has
changed. Therefore the Marxist perspective is still valid in today's society.
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However, Neo-Marxists, such as Althusser reject Marx's idea of the superstructure
and base as they believe that a more complex model, which included the
economic level, the political level and the ideological level, better sums ups
society and sees it in a much more sophisticated way than Marx did. This model
can be applied to today's society as it acknowledges aspects of society which
play a huge role in contempory society, unlike Marx's model of the superstructure
and base.…read more

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