Marx, Durkheim, and Weber on Society and Criminology

1832 Words8 Pages
Weber, Marx, Durkheim on Society Max Weber, Karl Marx, and Emile Durkheim each have unique perspectives on society and how it functions. These theorists have provided interesting insight to social norms and social change. Each theorist has attempted to explain how society works and how social norms form. They also sought to explain why social change occurs and what affects it has on society and its future. Weber doesn’t focus on society as a whole but more on individual behaviors that characterize their actions within a society. Marx focuses on class division within society and the mode of production and relations to production. Durkheim focusses on the “collective consciousness” of society, which is focused on how society functions as its own organic being. A good way to examine these theorist’s views is to examine certain social aspects. One social aspect is the way society handles crime and punishment. This aspect is essential to Durkheim’s approach to sociology. Durkheim believed that punishment was an institution that lay at the core of society. The system of punishment to Durkheim was a tangible example of the “collective conscious” and believed by analyzing its forms and functions you could better understand social solidarity. According to Durkheim, society can only function if first there is a framework of morality. Without this initial framework societal interaction could not exist. As such Durkheim states that “the morality of each people is directly related to the social structure of the people practicing it”. Knowing this Durkheim becomes focused on understanding how changing forms of solidarity form as society evolves and its basic structure and organization change. Despite being associated with punishment, Durkheim’s theory concerning punishment is often viewed as flawed concerning modern society. This can be attributed to several reasons. One
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