Marxism Theory

  • Created by: Megan
  • Created on: 11-05-15 16:12
What sort of theory is Marxism?
Conflict theory - conflict is between the classes
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Macro or Micro?
Macro - looks at society as a whole
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What is materialism?
The view that humans are beings with material needs, and must therefore work to meet them. In doing so they use the means of production
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What are social relations of production?
Way of organising production
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What happens as the means of production grow and develop?
The social relations of production also change. And a division of labour develops which eventually leads to a division between two classes.
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Define economic infrastructure
refers to the economy e.g. whether production is hunting, feudal, capitalist or socialist
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Define superstructure
refers to the social, cultural, political and ideological parts of society
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What was Capitalist society made up of to Marx?
1)The bourgeoisie who own the means of production 2)The proletariat who were wage slaves and have nothing to sell but their labour
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Define Primitive communism
early classless society where everyone works and everything is shared
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How does capitalist society differ from ancient (slave) society?
Unlike slaves the proletariat are legally free and separated from the means of production. yet because they don't own a means of production they have to sell their labour to the bourgeoisie in order to survive
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What is class polarisation?
where society divides into a minority capitalist class and a majority working class
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What is class consciousness?
By bringing the proletariat together in large numbers, and driving down their wages, capitalism creates the conditions under which the w/c become a class for themselves and are aware of the need to overthrow capitalism
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Who do the dominant ideas in society belong to?
The ideas of the economically dominant class.
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What are ideologies and who produces them?
Sets of beliefs that justify the existing social order as desirable and inevitable. Produced by; religion, education, the media etc.
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What do ideologies create?
False consciousness where people are aware of their position by accept it as normal and right
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What is Alienation?
The result of our loss of control over out labour and its products and therefore our separation from our true nature
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Where did Marx believe alienation reached its height?
In capitalist society. Because workers have no control over the means of production and because the worker is reduced to an unskilled labourer mindlessly completing the same task
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Define mode of production
the organisation/type of society e.g. feudal, capitalist or communist
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How does Marx define the state?
Armed bodies of men. it exists to protect the interests of the class of owners who control it.
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What 3 things did Marx claim the proletariat revolution would do?
1)Abolish the state and create a classless society 2)Abolish exploitation and replace private ownership with social ownership 3)End alienation so that humans regain control of their labour and its products
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How is Marxism similar to functionalism?
It is a macro theory that is also structuralist. It believes that society determines peoples behaviour.
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Marx is criticised for 'economic determinism' what is this?
The view that economic factors are the sole cause of everything in society. This fails to recognise that humans have free will and can choose to bring about change through their conscious actions
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Macro or Micro?


Macro - looks at society as a whole

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What is materialism?


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Card 4


What are social relations of production?


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Card 5


What happens as the means of production grow and develop?


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