Marxist Theory

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  • Created by: Mollie
  • Created on: 25-04-13 15:48


  • Theory derived from the 19th century writings of Karl Marx
  • Believed that the economic system of any society largely determined the social structure
  • Owners of the economic structure are able to control the society by transmitting values that reflect their own interests
  • The less powerful generally accept these values even though they are generally not in their interests
  • Suggested that all history can be divided into five periods
  • Starts with 'primitive communism' then passes through ancient societies such as those of Rome and Asia, through Feudalism and eventually arrives at capitalism

The Marxist model:

  • In each of the five periods listed above there is an economic structure (the economic base or means of production), which, except in primitive communism, is always controlled by a ruling class
  • This ruling class then constructs a set of social relationships (the relations of production) that benefit them and allow them to exploit all those who do not own means of production
  • According to Marxist economic theory, the means of production are always advancing, becoming more complex and capable of producing greater wealth
  • Nothing can stop this continuing advancement of technology. However, the values that the ruling class create tend to move much more slowly
  • Within each of the five periods already…


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