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SOCIAL INEQUALITY ­ MARXISM ­ GENERAL/CLASS

Outline and assess Marxist explanations of social/class inequality [40]
Marx ­ Capitalism

Marx's main idea is that we live in a capitalist society; this is a society which is based
on the principles of business

The capitalist structure: the bourgeoisie are in control of…

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Marx thought capitalism should be overthrown by communism, a society free of
oppression, exploitation and inequality ­ the proletariat would stop being a 'class in
itself' and start being a 'class for itself'

Countries have tried introducing a communist structure, however many countries
have shown how communism is unsuccessful. Russia,…

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Outline and assess Marxist explanations of social inequality [40]
Gramsci

He was the leader of the Italian communist party who tried to cause a revolution but
failed; as a result he was sentenced to life in prison

He believes the ruling class use their ideas to control the masses; these…

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Class inequalities are reproduced and reinforced through education

The ruling class possesses more cultural, social and economic capital than the
subject class, and this is what helps them to succeed in the education system

Bourdieu believes that subject class failure within schools is the fault of the
education system, not…

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Conducted a study of the 70's mugging phenomenon

He believed that Britain was facing an economic crisis due to the capitalist system

The government didn't want the public to be aware of this, and instead used African
American males as scapegoats, blaming them for an increase in mugging in the…

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Cox

Proposed that racial differences and racism itself are the creation of the economic
system; racism was created and is sustained by capitalism

Racism helps to maintain a false class consciousness by using a 'divide-and-rule'
tactic, by creating divisions within the working class itself ­ because of this, there is…

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Believes the elderly age marginalised as their needs are incompatible with
profit-making in a capitalist society; they do not have spending power and are
therefore unnecessary

Supported by statistics which show tat 1.2 million pensioners experience fuel
poverty, with most of their pension going towards gas and electric

However, postmodernists…

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