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Karl Marx Essay Topics & Paper Examples

Karl Marx

Karl Marx who was christened ‘the father of modern communism’ was a well renowned philosopher whose ideologies in the political, economy as well as social perspectives were very significant. To Marx, the issue of inequality in society was a major concern and a central point in his ideologies. He blamed the inequality in society on the economic production. (Healey J 2006). He placed more emphasis on the means of production which simply implied the tools or materials used in order to ensure that goods and services were produced and distributed. To Marx, the means of production could vary depending on the prevailing economic system. In cases of agricultural societies, land would be an important means of production while for the…

The Principles of Vilfredo Pareto and Karl Marx

Karl Marx, a polarizing figure in our history, has influenced so many theorists and political activists. His view on social conflict emphasizes more on materialist perspective. Marx has a critical approach towards the existing social and economic arrangement. In his materialist point of view, the most crucial aspect of social life is the work that individuals do that produces life’s basic necessities – food, shelter and clothing. Thus, things that are of inherent value to man are produced by man. So ultimately, it is the working individuals who participate in the making of society, and in effect, constructing the condition of the society to which they live in. However, in Marx’s observation of the current social arrangement there is rampant…

Critical Literacy

“Read the word to read the world. ” (Freire) Being critically literate is not just about being able to understand words. It is about reading, listening, or hearing texts and coming up with your own thoughts on them. Being able to discuss your thoughts between many different people using your life and knowledge as a baseline. Critically literate citizens challenge thoughts by advocating as well as being active in their government. An activist uses literacy to critically understand and challenge social and political power. Activist’s enjoy collaborating with other groups to change attitudes, policies, and laws. They use and interpret language to challenge and shape themselves and institutions. Illegal immigrant supporters are a good example of critical literacy. How you…

Karl Marx and the Idea of Communism

Karl Marx’s claim that capitalism is important to human development but must be overcome and a system put into place that would eventually evolve into communism is unrealistic. Although the idea of communism, a social system designed to promote a classless society where everyone is truly equal and social problems such as racism, sexism and oppression do not exist, would be favourable to a capitalist society, it is unachievable as it doesn’t comprehend an individuals personal desire, the labour classes ability to lead or the growth and change that has occurred within capitalism since Marx. Capitalism is the social system currently within place in countries all over the world, where the means for producing and distributing goods are owned by…

Karl Marx and Capitalism

In this paper I will examine how Karl Marx views capitalism and, more specifically, the criticisms he has regarding capitalism. In the first part of the paper I will reconstruct and explain the philosopher’s argument. In the second part of the paper I will offer my critical evaluation where I will demonstrate how these critiques are still appropriate in today’s society by providing examples of how capitalism is affecting the lives of American workers even today. However, I will first explain the definition and structure of capitalism. Capitalism is an economic system that is most common in the United States and much of Western Europe today. It is represented by privatization of companies for production of goods or services for…

Karl Marx Philosophy

Karl Marx is regarded as one of the greatest philosophers of the 19th century. He was born and raised in Prussia and got influenced by Ludwig Feuerbach amongst other radical Hegelians. Though he subscribed to the Hegelian belief regarding the dialectical structure and the historical inevitability, Karl Marx believed that the fundamental reality was to be found in the material base of the economy as opposed to the conceptual ideal found in philosophy. Marx graduated with a doctoral degree at Jena in the year 1841 after writing about the materialism and atheism of Greek atomists. He later moved to Koln where he established a radical newspaper known as Rheinische Zeitung becoming its editor. He later moved to France and Belgium…

Why media is termed “consciousness industries”?

What is the thing or person that everyone must get access to everyday? It is probably not your parents or your friends, but the media. Teenagers listen to pop music and read magazines so that they will have same topic with their friends. Middle-aged people read newspapers to know about the current affairs. The elderly are entertained through watching soap operas. Through various forms of media such as television, newspaper, magazine, internet, radio, film, advertisement, music and video games, people get to know about what is happening around us and it facilitates communication. To have a deeper understanding of media, this essay concerns itself with examining why media will be termed “consciousness industries” and followed by that, it will discuss…

Sociology and Modernization

Modernization is the process in which social and economic change is obtained through industrial revolution, urbanization and other social changes that alters people’s lives. Modernization promotes individualism over the unity of traditional communities and encourages rationality over traditional philosophies. Modernization can have both positive and negative effects on society and can often bring about controversy. The German sociologist Ferdinand Tönnies (1855-1937) formed the theory of Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft. Ferdinand Tönnies saw modernization as the progressive loss of human community (Gemeinschaft). He also believed that modernization caused people in modern societies to drift apart and personal relationships became more impersonal as people became more self-absorbed (Gesellschaft). Ferdinand Tönnies theory suggests that … modernity turns society inside out so that people are…

Should Sociology be Value Free

The term value neutrality was used by Weber to indicate the necessary objectivity researchers need when investigating problems in the natural sciences. Weber even though had introduced the term and accepted a scientific in the study of sociology, he did not believed that absolute objectivity is attainable. Weber said that value neutrality should be the primary aim in sociology but it cannot be obtained since sociology is the study of human behaviors and society thus making it prone to personal views and value judgments. He recognized that values would influence the choice of topics for study. The reason for his claim was, sociologists had to choose from the vast knowledge in sociology to be studied. Inevitably, this will result value…

What does it mean to ‘think sociologically’?

A key part of engaging in sociology is to adopt a sociological viewpoint or ‘think sociologically’. Etymologically, sociology is the ‘study of society’ but this doesn’t differentiate sociology from other forms of social study. Hence, many begin to describe thinking sociologically by what it is not – it is not thinking politically, thinking anthropologically, thinking historically or thinking psychologically, for example (Berger 1966: 11-36; Reiss 1968: 2-3). Others try to determine the nature of sociological thinking by detailing practical phenomena which can be thought about such as social systems and their subsystems, social institutions and social structure, and social aggregates, relationships, groups and organisations (Reiss 1968: 1), or by key mental tools that people who call themselves ‘sociologists’ use while…

Understanding Conflict Through Sociological Perspective

Conflict is the struggle for agency or power in society. Social conflict or group conflict occurs when two or more actors oppose each other in social interaction, reciprocally exerting social power in an effort to attain scarce or incompatible goals and prevent the opponent from attaining them. It is a social relationship wherein the action is oriented intentionally for carrying out the actor’s own will against the resistance of other party or parties. We define conflict as a disagreement through which the parties involved perceive a threat to their needs, interests or concerns. Within this simple definition there are several important understandings that emerge. The contemporary discipline of sociology is theoretically multi-paradigmatic. Modern sociological theory descends from the historical foundations…

Assess the usefulness of functionalist theories in understanding religion today

Functionalists have put forward their perspective on religion and how it benefits both society and the individual starting with how religion brings people together harmoniously, creating social cohesion and a sense of belonging as people believe in the same thing and all abide by the same rules. Religion creates and maintains a value consensus whilst giving society social order. By conforming to religious beliefs this allows us to gain morals and therefore Functionalists see religion as a positive aspect to society. Durkheim defines religion as “a unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things”. He says all societies divide the world into the sacred and the profane. Sacred are things set apart and forbidden, inspiring feelings of awe,…

The difference between capitalism and socialism

Capitalism is define as an economic and political system in which a country’s trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state. A political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole. Most Americans over 50 were taught that “capitalism” was better than “socialism,” and that America was “capitalist.” More recently, “capitalism” has fallen out of favor. The ostensibly conservative Richard Nixon famously quipped, “We are all Keynesians now,” by which he meant, nobody is a “capitalist” anymore. Few people today are willing to identify themselves as defenders of capitalism. Capitalism is not trendy in…

Functionalist Perspective

My favorite perspective in sociology was learning about the functionalist perspective aka functionalism. I do know that it is one of the major concept theories and perspectives in sociology. From class we learned about Emile Durkheim’s interest in this theory on how social order is possible on how society remains relatively stable through functionalism. “Functionalism does interpret every part of society on how it all contributes to the stability and the survival of society”. I guess the reason why I liked the study of functionalism is for the same reason why I like to be a functional person, I love for there to be order and I believe that everybody plays a role in that sense, either they know they…

Is childhood getting better or worse?

The position of children in society has improved ‘Childhood’ is a social construct. This means that it is different depending on the period of history that you look at or the place. Sociologists argue whether ‘childhood’ has improved or has got worse and use theories and evidence to prove this .There are to two sides to the argument and phrases used by sociologists to describe that either childhood has improved ‘The march of progress ‘ , or been made worse ‘ Conflict view’. ‘March of progress ‘argues that childhood has become better over time. One sociologist who agrees there has been a march of progress is Aries. Aries used painting s of past eras to compare childhood then, to current…

Compare and contrast the concepts of ‘alienation’ and ‘anomie’

Karl Marx first outlined his theory of alienation in The Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts (1844) and refers to a define set of social relationships that were first formed in feudal societies which then became disrupted by modern industrial society. Marx himself said when discussing the topic of alienation “The worker becomes poorer the more wealth he produces and the more his production increases in power and extent. The worker becomes an ever cheaper commodity the more goods he creates. The devaluation of the human world increases in direct relation to the increase in value of the world of things. Labour does not only create goods; it also produces itself and the worker as a commodity, and indeed in the same…

Chapter #9 Summary: New Directions in Planning Theory

Chapter #9 Summary: New Directions in Planning Theory Susan S. Fainstein Susan S. is professor of urban planning and acting program director in Columbia University. In this article she discusses and critiques contemporary planning theory in terms of its usefulness in addressing what I believe to be its defining question: what is the possibility of consciously achieving widespread improvement in the quality of human life within the context of a global capitalist political economy. She examines the three approaches referred to above under the rubrics of: -(1) the communicative model; sometimes called the collaborative model, emphasizes the planner’s role in mediating among “stakeholders” within the planning situation -(2) the new urbanism; frequently labeled neo-traditionalism, paints a physical picture of a…

Factors that contributed to the rise and development of sociology

This essay serves to outline the factors that contributed to the rise of sociology and the latter`s development. In simply terms, sociology is the scientific study of the society and human behavior. The emergence of sociology traces back to the eighteenth century up to present day. Johnson (1998) suggests that in summary, the rise and development of sociology is based on political, economic, demographic, social and scientific changes. Ritzer (2008) asserts that the immediate cause for the beginning of sociology were political unrests especially the French Revolution that took over from the eighteenth century to the nineteenth century. The turmoil of the French Revolution spread throughout Europe and other nations. Kornblum (2008) suggests that the political upheavals were associated with…

How far were ideological factors responsible for Stalin’s decision to replace the NEP with the collectivisation of agriculture

How far were ideological factors responsible for Stalin’s decision to replace the NEP with the collectivisation of agriculture and the Five Year Plans? I believe that ideological factor were responsible for Stalin’s decision to replace the NEP with the collectivisation of agriculture and the Five Year Plans as Stalin was disgruntled by the peasants work ethic and continuingly wanted to become more communist and ideological issues were the main contributors that, if changed would make a vast difference to Russia. However, other factors also could have been responsible for Stalin’s decision to replace the NEP with the collectivisation of agriculture and the Five Year Plans such as political and economical aspects. I feel that the main contributor in determining Stalin’s…

Analysis of Class, Status and Power

Karl Marx and Max Weber are among the famous theorist who formed the pillar of the study of society. This come about in their contradict theories the conflict and protestant ethic respectively. It is understood that these two people lived in different eras, Marx being exposed to conditions and perspectives of the eighteen century whilst Weber dwells in the nineteen century where noticeable changes on the fast emergence of innovative technology, and a path where modernity take its toll (the industrial revolution) (Tui, 2014). The theories of Marx and Weber were applicable in their times with regards to the type, functions and interactions existing within society. As follows is the discussion of their main arguments on the contrary of their…

Karl Marx and Max Weber

Karl Marx and Max Weber are among the famous theorist who formed the pillar of the study of society. This come about in their contradict theories the conflict and protestant ethic respectively. It is understood that these two people lived in different eras, Marx being exposed to conditions and perspectives of the eighteen century whilst Weber dwells in the nineteen century where noticeable changes on the fast emergence of innovative technology, and a path where modernity take its toll (the industrial revolution) (Tui, 2014). The theories of Marx and Weber were applicable in their times with regards to the type, functions and interactions existing within society. As follows is the discussion of their main arguments on the contrary of their…

Me, Myself, and Why Problem Set

1. What is the difference between self-interest and selfishness? Why is this distinction important when considering the competitive market economy as appropriate for society? Self-interest is looking out for your best interest and finding the best possible alternatives that will benefit yourself in the business world. Selfishness is putting your own interests above the interests of others and making decisions solely based on how they will benefit you. This distinction is imperative in considering the competitive market that is appropriate for society because you need to make sure that you are looking out for yourself but at the same time you should not make market decisions based solely off your own selfish interests. A selfish business man or woman will…