Theories- LT2 Marxism

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What type of theory is Marxism?
A conflict theory
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Do they provide a macro or micro theory?
A macro theory
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Marxism provides what kind of explanations to study society as a what?
-Structural explanations, -Study society as a whole,
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Why are Marxists critical of capitalist societies?
AS they see society in two parts,
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What do Marxists argue are the two key parts of society?
1) Infrastructure, 2) Superstructure,
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What is the infrastructure?
The foundation of society is the economic base,
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What does the superstructure consists of and an example?
Major agencies of social control, -E.g. education, medicine and religion,
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What do Marxists believe that capitalist societies are based on?
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What do Marxists believe society strives to be run by?
To be run by communism,
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Who do Marxists say about who the conflict is between and what are the roles of each group in society?
Class-based conflict that is between the ruling class who own the means of production and the proletariat who own only their labour power and have to work for the ruling class to survive,
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On what two levels does the ruling class exploit the working class?
-Low pay, -Alienating work,
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Why does conflict arise?
As the working classes want higher wages and more benefits and the ruling classes want to maximise profits,
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What do Classic Marxists say will need to happen to stop this conflict continuing forever?
They say the working classes unite and gain class consciousness and become a class for itself and eventually overthrow the ruling classes through a revolution,
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What does the ruling class control?
The economic base and the superstructure,
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Therefore, the working classes are subject to what by the ruling class?
Ideological conditioning,
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Therefore the working classes are in a state of what and what does this mean?
-False class consciousness, -This means that they are not aware of the full extent of their exploitation,
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For applications of Marxism, for eduction what does it serve to justify through what?
The social class structure through its socialisation role,
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Give an example of how education justifies the social class structure?
The hidden curriculum instils the acceptance of hierarchies and alienation,
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How does education reproduce the social class strucutre?
By allocating individuals to jobs on the basis of social class rather than merit,
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For family, what does it socialise individuals into?
The 'status quo'.
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Through the family, children are taught what?
They are taught their role in society,
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What role are boys taught through the family?
To work for the bourgeoisie without question,
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What roles are girls taught through the family?
Learn to look after the children, husband and home,
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For religion, how does Marx view religions role on social change?
Religion prevents social change and is the 'opium of the masses',
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What does religion acting as the opium of the masses mean?
The prupose of religion to create illusory fantasies for the poor,
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Who studied the role of the New Christian Right where?
-Bruce, -Played in the 1980 American election,
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What did he find from this 1980 American election?
He found 27 left-wing candidates that were targeted for defeat by the NCR, 23 lost their seat to more right-wing business candidates.
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How does this support Marxist theory?
It supports Marxist theory ideas on the link between religion and capitalist ideology,
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For crime, what do Marxists argue causes crime in society?
It is cause by economic inequality and capitalist values,
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What do Marxists argue the laws are created to maintain?
The power and privilege of the ruling classes,
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What do Marxists argue about the police and the working class?
The police selectively enforce the law against the working class,
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For Marxist links to research methods, what two views are they divided between?
Positivist and interpretivist divide,
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Why do Marxists use a positivist approach?
AS they look for the social causes of behaviour from a macro approach,
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Why do Marxists also use a interpretivist approach?
They often favour qualitative methods,
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For strengths of Marxists, what theory has given Marxists support?
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What has Marxism clearly drawn attention to?
The plight of the disadvantaged in society, the working class,
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What has marxism demonstrated about society?
Demonstrates how i is structured and perpetuates social inequality,
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What do Feminists look at that exist in society like Marxists?
They also look at inequalities and conflicts that exist in society,
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However, instead what do Feminists focus on instead?
Gender rather than class,
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For another advantage, what type of approach do Marxists put forward which emphasises the importance of what
-Structural approach, -Emphasises the importance of the economy in modern capitalist society,
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How does Marxism link major social institutions together?
Marxists argue that various parts of society are inter-related and affect one another,
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How do Marxists attempt to link the structural elements of society with?
The consciousness of the individual,
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For another advantage of Marxism, what does it account for which Functionalists done?
Marxists account for the revolutionary upheaval as societies go through large-scale change,
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What four examples of revolution as empirical evidence do Marxists give to show that for society to change people must change it?
The French revolution (1790s), the Russian Revolution (1917) and the Chinese Revolution (1930s) and the Eastern Europe Revolution (1989)
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For the Eastern European revolution in 1989, describe how his shows that for society to change the people must change it?
The Revolution was evidence of change demanded by the people but was the beginning of the collapse of communism in countries such as Hungary and Czechoslovakia,
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However, for weaknesses of marxism, what theory has criticised marxism and why?
Functionalists for over-emphasising conflict in society,
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What do Functionalists argue should keep society working?
-Harmony, -Shared values,
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What do Functionalists suggest to disprove Marxist theory and say the bourgeoise do give concessions?
They argue the bourgeoisie can and do make concessions to the proletariat, such as offering higher wages and voting rights,
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For another criticism, what do Marxism assume?
They are criticised for their economic determinism,
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Why are they too deterministic about the economy?
They place too much emphasis on the economy and don't fully explore other influential aspects of the social structure, e.g. education,
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For another critcism, what shows Marxist theory is no longer viable?
Evidence of communism not working.
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Give two examples of where Communism hasn't worked and what does this suggest?
-Collapse of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, -It suggests that the promise of communism has been repalced by the desire for western-style democracies,
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For another criticism, how has Weber criticsed Marxism about their one sided views?
Arguebly, marx has a simplistic and one-dimensional view of inequality,
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What does Weber argue can also be important sources of inequality as well as class?
Status and power,
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What model has also been criticsed as being too simplistic?
Weber's two-class model,
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Instead, how does Weber expand on this model?
Weber sub-divides the proletariat into skilled and unskilled classes, and includes white collar middle class workers,
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For the conclusion, what do Marxists provide a useful insight into?
The workings of society,
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However, how is the theory driven?
It is ideologically driven,
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Therefore, why is the theory reductionist?
As it fails to take into account competing theoretical ideas,
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What theory are critical of Marxists and why?
-Postmodernists -As they claim Marxists have a 'totalising all-compassing ' meta narrative of society,
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What do Postmodernists maintain should also be considered?
A full account of all narratives,
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Do they provide a macro or micro theory?


A macro theory

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Marxism provides what kind of explanations to study society as a what?


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Why are Marxists critical of capitalist societies?


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What do Marxists argue are the two key parts of society?


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