What does Marxism have in common with functionalism?

Marx tends to share the view that society is a structure or system that shares individuals behaviour & ideas.

2 Ways Functionalism & Marxism are different

  1. Conflict of interests - Marxists reject the functionalist view that the social structure is a harmonious one-based on value consensus. Instead they see it as based on a conflict of economic interests between social classes of unequal power & wealth.

  2. Instability & change - Marxist also reject the functionalist view that society is stable, stressing the possibility of sudden, profound & revolutionary change. Stability is merely the result of the dominant class being able to impose their will on society.

Similarities between Durkehin and Marx?

Like Durkheim Marx saw that the arm caused by modern industrial society was taking shape in 19th century Europe, and the promise of progress to a better world that it held. They both also believed that it was possible to understand society scientifically & that this knowledge would point the way to a better society - Marx described his theory as ‘scientific socialism’.

How did Marx see Historical Change?

Didn't see progress as a smooth & gradual evolution, instead saw historical changes as a contradictory process in which capitalism would increase human misery before giving way to classless communist society in which human beings would be free to fulfil their potential.

How would a classes society be brought in?

The classless society would have to be brought into being by conscious human action. As he writes; “Philosophers have merely interpreted the world; the point, however, is to change it”.

Historical materialism

Define Materialism:

Is the view that humans are beings with material needs, such as food, clothing & shelter, and therefore work to meet them. In doing so, they use the forces of production.

According to Marx, when do humans enter social relations of production?

When they are working in production to meet their own needs, humans also cooperate with one another: meaning they enter into social relations of production .

Which 2 Classes emerge along with the division of labour?

  • A class that owns the means of production 

  • A class of labourers

Explain the following concepts:

  1. Mode of Production - Marx refers to the forces & relations of production together as the mode of production e.g currently we live in a society w/ capitalist mode of production. 

  2. Economic Base - Mode of production forms the economic base of society. This is economic base shapes or determines all other features of the society

  3. Superstructure - the economic base is the superstructure base of institutions, ideas beliefs & the nature of religion, law, education, the state, etc

Class Society & Exploitation

What are 3 key features of primitive communism?

  1. No private ownership

  2. No exploitation

  3. Everyone works and everything is shared

What is meant by surplus product?

This is the difference between what the labourers actually produce & what is needed simply to keep them alive & working.

What form of exploitation


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