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Marxism Essay Topics & Paper Examples

Compare and Contrast Two Sociological Theories We Have Looked

In this essay I am going to be looking at two of the main sociological theories; Marxism and Functionalism. In the main body of the essay I will be looking into the history of these theories, when did they become popular and why were they so? I will then make a comparison of the two to see if they contrast, if they do, how so. I will begin by looking at Marxism and secondly Functionalism. I will then be comparing and contrasting the two. Marxism – Karl Marx was born in Germany in 1818 to reasonably affluent parents: Hirschel (a lawyer) and Henrietta Marx. Although originally Jewish, to avoid anti-Semitism, Hirschel changed to Protestantism and also adopted the more socially…

Gramsci and Hegemony

Antonio Gramsci is an important figure in the history of Marxist theory. While Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels provided a rigorous analysis of capital at the social and economic levels – particularly showing how capital antagonises the working class and gives rise to crisis – Gramsci supplemented this with a sophisticated theory of the political realm and how it is organically/dialectically related to social and economic conditions. He provides us with a theory of how the proletariat must organise politically if it is to effectively respond to capital’s crises and failures, and bring about revolutionary change. Incidentally, this innovation has proven to be of interest not only to Marxists, but also to those involved in other forms of progressive politics,…

Presentation of the Kite Runner

INTRODUCTION This paper copes with the analysis of Hosseini’s Kite Runner using Marxism approach. Marxist theory mainly deals with the literary works and evaluates the works by the examining of its historical, social and economical background. Marxism evaluates the work how it is influenced by the time in which it was produced as well as social, political, economical sphere (Chowdhury, 2011). Thus, this paper will focus on: (1) The Marxist Approach To The Kite Runner; (2) The relationship among characters as a representation of the differences between social classes; (3) The relationship between Baba and Ali serve as a representation materialism versus spirituality; (4) Baba as the representation of economic power in his society in the period of time; and…

Elitist Approach

Marx asserted that the key to understanding human culture and history was the struggle between the classes. He used the term class to refer to a group of people within society who share the same social and economic status (Marx K. and Engels F. 1945). According to Marx, class struggles have occurred in every form of society, no matter what its economic structure, or mode of production: slavery, feudalism, or capitalism. In each of these kinds of societies, a minority of people own or control the means of production, such as land, raw materials, tools and machines, labour, and money. This minority constitutes the ruling class. The vast majority of people own and control very little. They mainly own their…

Theories of Political Power

In the world of today, there are four main theories of political power. Each one is a specific belief of who actually controls the government. They are the Marxist Theories, The Power Elite, the Bureaucratic Theory, and the Pluralist Theory. In the first theory, the Marxist Theory, it is believed that the large corporations control or influence what happens in the government. This ideology is based on the writings of Carl Marx, but there are many different versions or Marxism, all arguing on the specifics of power separation. The next theory is the Power Elite Theory. In the book “The power Elite”, C. Wright Mills describes that there is a three divisional group that controls the government. The three parts…

Ownership and Control as Important Aspect of the Media

Discuss two contrasting theories and relevant studies to explain the extent to which ownership and control is an important aspect of the media. The term mass media is essentially information which is targeted at a large audience. The Mass media is a global industry which has played a major role in shaping society over the 20th century. As technology has developed and created the opportunity to communicate with huge numbers of people, the mass media has developed and with it the media’s impact on society. Over the last fifty years the media has changed its shape yet again to fit in with our increasingly technological society; various forms of new media have appeared: smartphones, laptops, internet and ipods. The general…

Functionalist Views

Functionalism is a predominant perspective.The functionalists see education as a miniature society, where the individual develops a sense of commitment to the social group; it is a place to learn rules where the individual learns to conform to societies cultural norms and values. The functionalist perspectives of Emile Durkheim are, he believed that the major function of education was the transmission of societies norms and values. This would allow an advanced division of labour, which contributes to the economy. He believed in the process known as socialisation, where cultural norms condition an individual, allowing entry to modern society. The economy greatly relies on educational conditioning, and it is essential that educational achievement is well balanced in the meritoractic society, for…

The Time Machine and the Modern World

The Time Machine, written by H.G. Wells, focuses on contemporary social questions. Through the progression of the story Wells delineates various interrelated social issues that existed in Victorian England. Wells reflects on the exploitation of the working class and the negative effect of modern technology on class struggle in a capitalist society. He also puts forward a rather contradictory opinion about how the advent of communism can render humans into being frail, weak and not so innovative like the Elois. In my opinion, Wells’ Marxist critique of capitalism can prove to be a plausible factor in the demise of our civilization and steer us towards the dystopian future that is depicted in the novel. As paraphrased from Comparing Economic Systems…

Critical Theory

Critical theory is a body of ideas generally associated with the ‘Frankfurt School’. It was during the early 1980s that a new form of theoretic inquiry which was highly critical of tradional theories of IR, emerged. However the genesis of the theory can be found in the works of Kant and Marx with their emphasis on the ‘emancipatry purpose of knowledge and enquiry’. In other words critical theory entails ‘enlightenment project’ which subjects knowledge and education to the ideal purpose of freedom and liberation. Jurgon Habermas gave a new life to the critical and emancipatory views of Kant and Marx when he questioned the epistemological(source of knoeledge) and ontological(nature of being) foundations of existing social order and said that all…

Political Idealogies

In 1993, Amitai Etzoni formed the Communitarian Network In a Communitarian society, communities and the polities must be responsible to its members and their needs, while the members within the society should dedicate their attention to energy and welfare of other communities. Communitarian says that individual rights should be appreciated and preserved, but should be balanced with the interests of the community In a communitarian society, citizens should be more active in managing their society It believes that people should volunteer a lot. Treat community like a larger family Freedom of Speech should be preserved People should be responsible of themselves Communitarian philosophy has a great influence on the academia and receives great support from the USA president Bill Clinton…

Marxism and Education

The Marxist perspective of education in society can be very questionable because Marxist theorists such as; Louis Althusser, Bowles and Gintis, David Reynolds and Willis all seem to disagree with one another. The first thing I will write about are the strengths. The strengths about the Marxist view are it points out how ideology is transmitted within school via the hidden curriculum, how education legitimises class inequality, it points out the inequalities of both opportunity and outcome on the system and it exposes the myth of meritocracy. From these points I can tell that it tries to believe that teachers are a kind of agent who are trying to wrong the children. Louis Althusser believed that education is an ideological…

Exploring the Concepts of Karl Marx and Mao Tse-Tung

Karl Marx believed that in an industrialized society, the working class, known as the proletariat would revolt and take over the ruling class, and would in effect, create a classless society. Karl Marx believed this could only happen in an industrialized society. Once it became apparent that the working class would not rise above, Lenin intervened and confirmed Marxism obsolete in Russia. Since the late 1920’s the Chinese Communist Party has altered Marxism in China. It became a peasant party with an anti-Marxist petty-bourgeois viewpoint and through all the fluctuations of the left and right turns of world Stalinism, it kept a utopian and reactionary perspective; in Marxist terminology, reactionary refers to people whose ideas might appear to be socialist,…

Marxism and Mao

1. What specific development in Hunan province reinforced Mao’s convictions about the peasantry as a revolutionary force? The peasant movement in Hunan province reinforced Mao’s convictions about the peasantry as a revolutionary force. In china, man and woman are usually subjected to the domination of the three systems of authority: the state systems, the clan system, the supernatural system, and women are dominated by man. Hundreds of millions peasants have been oppressed for thousands years. Because of the china is semi-colonial and semi-feudal country, with this very special situation the peasants overthrow the local tyrants and evil gentry with strongly anger and violence. However, the political authority of the landlord is the backbone of all the other systems of authority….

Family and Household

Sociology is the subject which looks at the social world around us, how the social world works and how it effects and influences our daily lives. People tend to accept the social arrangements in which they grew up as normal or too complicated to understand. The family is the natural way to bring up children and schools are the normal places for children to learn. For most people the social world is just there, challenging their lives, they cannot change it and it is not really worth while trying to understand it. There is a consequence of that argument, which is when people try to understand their place in society, rich or poor, isolated or popular; they usually do so…

Dehumanization: Marxism and Modern Era

Dehumanization is the process of stripping away or denying other’s access to basic human qualities or rights. An ideal society would be free of this inequality, however, during the modern era, encouraged by capitalism and free competition, it is difficult to maintain complete equality and fairness. In fact, three books from the reading list, Marx’s Communist Manifesto, Sumner’s essay, What the Social Classes Owe to Each Other, and Primo Levi’s tale of Survival at Auschwitz, truly illustrate how difficult ideas and cultural values of the era make it to eliminate dehumanization. Although, the situations presented in each of the book are very different, they mainly deal with the loss or diminishment of four basic human qualities: the natural value in…

Marxism, Crime and Deviant Behaviour

When looking into the sociology of crime and deviance it is near impossible to avoid countless references back to Marxism, a theory which looks at society from a conflict perspective. * This particular theory argues that the ruling classes which we have come to know as the bourgeoisie use the agencies of the state (the political system, police force, criminal justice courts etc) to exert control over the proletariat. This changes the agencies of the state into agents of repression. * Society’s norms and values stem from those of the rich and powerful and primarily serve their interests. * These norms are then forced onto the poorer/weaker members of society, the values of which tend to be exploitative of these…

Different Sociological Perspectives

Critically Analyse and Evalute The Different Sociological Perspectives On The Types of Family And Households In Britain. Evaluate Their Functions And Roles. To What Extent Do They Take Into Account The Diversity of Family Types In Britain? In this essay I will be looking at the different sociological theories as they relate to the family household, functions and roles. The socialists include The Functionalist , The Marxist, The Feminists, The New Rights and The Post Modernisms. There is an array of different family types. These include the nuclear family, reconstituted family/step family, single parent family, cultural family, and even more so in the modern times an evolution of different and alternative family types are getting more common such as gay…

Functionalism Conflict Theory

“Knowledge is shaped by the social world.” (Karl Mannheim.) Though trying to understand the social world may seem difficult, sociologists managed to create three theories on how different areas of the world fit with one another as well as working hand in hand with each other. The three theories are known as Symbolic Interactionism, Functionalism and Conflict Theory. Each theory serves as a significant perspective on how individuals view social life and how it effects society as a whole. The first perspective would have to be the simplest of all and is categorized as a micro level since it is focused on smaller scale than the remaining perspectives. Symbolic Interactionism was founded by Charles Horton Cooley (1864-1929), William I. Thomas…

History: Sociology and Karl Marx

Sociology is the study of people within a society. Three important Modernist Thinkers; Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim, and Max Weber are the three important figures in sociology. During the time of the modernist thinkers, they played a role in sociology thinking. This paper will explore the importance on why these three figures are considered modernist thinkers. What there main focus was and how they are considered a modernist thinker. Karl Marx was born in 1818. He was a German philosopher who believed that material goods are part of the social world. Marx was committed to revolutionist. Marx was trying to influence the social movement. According to Marx, the ideal government would be a communist state where resources are equally shared….

Neorealist and Neo-Marxist Approaches to Globalization

Neo-realism According to Jackson and Sorensen (2003), the leading contemporary neorealist thinker is undoubtedly Kenneth Waltz (1979). His starting point is taken from some elements of classical and neoclassical, such as independent state existing and performing in an anarchical international system. Waltz’s Theory of international Politics (1979) seeks to provide a scientific explanation of the international political system. A scientific theory of international relations leads us to expect the certain pattern that states to behave in predictable ways. In Waltz’s view the best IR theory is a neo-realist systems theory that focuses centrally on the structure of the system, on its interacting units, and on the continuities and changes of the system. In classical realism, state leaders and their subjective…

The Materialistic Conception of History

Marx was, somehow, influenced by Hegel. If Hegel started from the “idea”, Marx, on the contrary, in all his philosophical, juridical, and political studies took his start from a strictly empirical principle. The Hegelian idea of “development” was completely “reversed” by Marx. He put in the place of the timeless development of the “idea” the real historical development of society on the basis of the development of its material mode of production. Marx’s materialistic conception of history would show us how Marx views life process of society, the development of history and the changes in the society. The way how Marx discovered historical facts in the society and foundation of human history will be mainly discussed in this paper. This…

Introduction to Philosophy

I. Pre-Socratic Period – also known as the Cosmological Period (cosmos meaning universe) *questions about human existence and subsistence (basic needs) Pre-Socratic Greek philosophers: – Anaxagoras – Thales (he held that water is the fundamental stuff of all things, saying “All is water”) – Anaximander – Xenophanes – Heraclitus – Anaximenes Empiricism – a theory which states that knowledge comes only or primarily from sensory experience II. Socratic Period – also known as the Era of Scientific Discoveries III. Church Period – also known as the Theological/Dogmatic Period. Dogmatic – from the word dogma (teachings of the Catholic church) Martin Luther – the most controversial bishop during his time; he questioned the teachings of the Catholic church IV. Rebellion Period…

Society Is an External Force

Thomas Hobbes argued that without strictly enforced rules, the degree of competitiveness between people was such that they would constantly be locked in a relentless and chaotic struggle against one another. He also argued that the people are rational, therefore they would recognize the need for strong government in order to restrain their selfish desires and evade turmoil in society. This is further supported by Durkheim when he stated, some ways must be found to bind the unsatisfied desire. However, Durkheim suggested that it is the society not the rational individuals that acts to limit our desires through establishing a set of moral values that the individual learns to accept as the proper manner of behaving in connection with each…

Assess the Contribution of Marxism to Our Understanding of the Role of Education

Using material from Item A and elsewhere assess the contribution of Marxism to our understanding of the role of education. As mentioned in Item A, Marxists take a critical view of the role of education. They see society as based on class divisions and capitalist exploitations. The capitalist society is a two class system as mentioned in Item A and it consists of a ruling class, the bourgeoisie and the working class, the proletariat. The bourgeoisie exploits the proletariat according to Marxists and they believe that the education system only serves the needs and interests of the ruling class, as mentioned in Item A. Marxists also education as functioning to prevent revolution and maintain capitalism. According to Louis Althusser, the state…

Althusser, Ideology and Interpellation

The French philosopher, Louis Althusser, first popularized the word in his seminal essay “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses (Notes towards an Investigation)” (Althusser, 1972). In the essay, Althusser explores the relationship between the state, modes of (re)producing power and ideology from a Marxist perspective, defining ideology as “the imaginary relationship of individuals to their real conditions of existence” (Althusser 1972: 162). In his definition, Althusser sees ideology functioning as a mediator between systems of power and individuals. It allows for hegemonic power to reproduce itself by obscuring traditional forms of repression and incorporating individuals into the power structure. Althusser complicates the relationship between domination and subjugation by introducing the interpellation process, where individuals recognize themselves as subjects through ideology, thus…

Handmaid’s Tale Passage Analysis

The Distinction of Classes and Marxism in The Handmaids Tale Marxism, in broad terms, is a theory of social change based on sympathy for the working class. The Marxist literary theory involves looking at a class struggle (working vs. ruling). In Margaret Atwood’s novel The Handmaid’s Tale a class struggle is seen between the ruling class and everyone else in the Republic of Gilead. This text can be analyzed through the lens of Marxist literary theory at many points and much of that text can be used to prove that same theory. Pages 13-15 show a theme seen throughout the whole novel which is two separate classes as well as the great distinction between the two of them. First off…

Structural Functionalism and Conflict Theory

Karl Marx and Max Weber were the first conflict theorists in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Following Marx and Weber were three mid-20th century conflict theorists: Lewis Coser, Ralf Dahrendorf, and Randall Collins. Coser draws his theoretical ideas from Simmel. Like Simmel, Coser maintains that conflict is healthy for society. In contrast, Dahrendorf combines theoretical ideas from Marx and Weber. Dahrendorf sees power as the main feature in all social relationships. However, Collins incorporates Weber, Durkheim, and Goffman’s theories to provide a micro-level orientation to conflict theory. Collins also used geopolitics at a global level to examine political conflicts historically and geographically. According to Marx and Weber, the root of most social conflict comes from an unequal distribution of…

Relevance of Marism in the 21st Century

Marxism is much more than a theory or even a school of thought. The Encyclopaedia Britannica describes is a body of doctrine that was developed by Karl Marx with contributions from Friedrich Engels in the mid-19th century. Marxism is a way of viewing the world from an economic and socio-political context. Originally, Marxism consisted of three basic ideas that were in some way related to each other: a philosophical anthropology, an economic and political, and program a theory of history. In other words, it is a combination of an economic theory, a political school of thought as well as a view of social change that was later picked up by socialist political movements across the globe. It has often been…

Summary of Marxism

For the past few months I’ve been studying and reading Karl Marx’s most important work: Capital (Das Kapital). This thing is enormous. It’s three volumes, containing over 2000 pages. In it Marx attempted to figure out and explain how capitalism ‘works’… What he came up with is fascinating. It is a very detailed and intricate analysis. While Marx is commonly known for being the “father of communism” the reality is that his major accomplishment is his examination of capitalism. In fact, this may surprise you, Marx never wrote about how communism ‘works,’ which is kind of strange for someone that is considered the father of it. Unfortunately, there is such a negative stigma attached to Marx that we, as a…

Marxism in International Relations

Contrast and compare between the conservative theories of idealism and realism and the transformative theory of Marxists. Intro: Critically discuss the similarities and the difference of conservative theories and transformative or critical theories. These theories entail idealism, realism in contrast liberalism and Marxism. 5 Main assumptions to draw a concluding contrats between a Marxist transformative theory and theories of idealism and realism” Assumption 1 Firstly, like Realism, Marxist transformative theory assumes that the structure of the international system is an important factor to consider when we want to understand international relations. Whereas realism places emphasis on the anarchic political structure of the world, Marxist transformative theory emphasises the fundamental production (economic) structure and the difference places taken up by states,…