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Karl Marx Sociology Essay Example

Karl Marx’s Contributions To Sociology


While known to many fro his economic stance on the nature exploitation, Karl Marx has also had a great deal of input into the development of several of the other social sciences. This essay seeks to briefly outline the history of the man, some of his most powerful assertions and the ways in which they have influenced formation of policies.

Karl Marx was born in Germany in 1818 and although it might seem incongruent, his family was somewhat wealthy. His interest in the unequal distribution of wealth in society did not come from his own experiences with poverty but rather his observation of it and the books he read. His reading habits in college were a more clear indicator of the stance he would eventually take.

His life’s work and theories are often condensed into a single theory known as Marxism. This describes societies as going through stages of class struggle in which exploitation is necessary for the entire system to function. Under capitalism, the proletariat masses are forced to exchange their labor for unfavorable wages to the ruling class or bourgeoisie. All the systems within society are structured so that members of the proletariat accept their position and have very little chance of rising out of it. The level of exploitation was however expected to steadily rise until eventually those at the bottom of the social pyramid achieve ‘class consciousness’ or awareness of their own hopelessness. This would lead them to take power from the ruling classes and redistribute it evenly throughout society in a new system known as communism.

These theories were outlined in his many published works including “The Communist Manifesto” and “Das Kapital”. He viewed what most people define as communism as an imperfect system that should be used as a step toward another level of stateless society in which there are no classes or individual property rights and the need for money has disappeared completely. While his views have largely influenced the policies of the Soviet Union, China and Cuba, no country can claim to have reached that particular stage as yet.

Marx’s views on society may not be in keeping with the most common economic system in the world today but it cannot be argued that his impact on the world was a small one. His vision of a classless society lives on in the works of futurists such as Jacques Fresco.

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Karl Marx Essay

1742 Words7 Pages

Chose one of sociology’s founding “figures” and critically assess his or her particular contribution.

There are many of sociology's founding figures that have extremely well-built ideas, practices and studies that I could explore, but one renowned philosopher stands out amongst the crowd, and that person is named Karl Marx (1818-1883). In this essay I aim to explore and critically assess his ideas, theories, and studies in his contribution to sociology, and if his ideas, theories and studies are useful to this contribution to sociology.

Sociology began in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in Western Europe. Around this time, the political and economic systems in Europe were changing. Things like the Monarchy, (which was the…show more content…

This was the concern for overall human worth. It began to be more equainted with Christian ideals, such as God's love for all people. Humanitarianism in Religion shunned the idea of politics and did not care about the female rights although it had quite a large following from the female population. It was purely active to prevent human prejudice towards children and to stop other humans suffering, such as the poor. (Hackett, 1995)

Marxism regards the social, political, and economic theory that regards history evolving. Marx claimed to have discovered a “progressive pattern controlling human evolution'', which would eventually have society reach a point in the future where it would be a communist classless society. Marx said that people would no longer be oppressed, and the oppression of society would disappear when humans had reached the final stage of human evolution. Since Marx believed that ''law was an instrument of class domination'' he recognised that if society was ''classless'', the laws as a whole would have to be abolished. He thought that law stemed from class conflicts and the laws would have to be abolished to fully reach it's full potential as a classless communist society. (Augusto Zimmermann, 2009).

As Marx's writings were so diverse and had such great variety, the circumstances under which these writings were written are extremely important to understand. The next few points are to

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