Marxist perspective of power - from http://revisesociology.wordpress.com/

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  • Created by: Alice
  • Created on: 04-01-12 19:56

Karl Marx said there is a limited amount of power in society, which can only be only be held by one person or group at a time.  Marx said these “groups” are the working and ruling classes. Under capitalism the ruling class hold all the power and use it to exploit the working class. This is the cornerstone of Marxism.

Marx believed the structure of society is determined by the nature of its economy, or its “economic base”.  So if the economy is capitalist, the rest of society will act under capitalist values. This is because capitalism dictates the ruling class will own the means of production, meaning they can control their workers, this is why many countries have all the power concentrated in the hands of the ruling class. Ralph Miliband said the political power in society was also held by those who control the economic base.

Stephen Lukes’ was a Marxist, and his 3 faces of power help explain how the ruling class maintain control of power in society. However, it is the 3rd face…

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