Marxism vs Functionalism

1093 Words5 Pages
Compare and contrast either two different theoretical approaches to the study of sociology OR two different methodological approaches used by sociologists Sociologists approach the study of society in different ways. Two concepts of society are functionalism and Marxism. Functionalists believe that different parts of society work together to keep the society running whereas Marxists believe societies are unequal and unfair. Both concepts differ in their views of how society operates for instance a Marxist would claim that there are only 2 classes and it is very hard to progress up a class whereas a functionalist would disagree and claim the harder you work, the more you achieve and the better your social position. Functionalism came from Emile Durkheim. Durkheim focused on the Consensus theory. Functionalists believe that the harder you work, the better standard of living you will have and the higher up the social class system you will go. They disregard any differences there are from person to person. They overlook, race, religion social background, gender and age with the strict understanding that where you reach on the social ladder is entirely dependent on the work and effort you put in. On the other hand, Marxism is understood as the theory and practice of working class self-emancipation. Marxists believe that there are two classes; the Bourgeoisie and the proletariat where class membership depended upon ownership (Bourgeoisie) or non-ownership (Proletariat) of the means of production. These two social classes depend upon each other as a means of employment or as a source of profit. Functionalists however, believe society works in a similar way to a human body. Every part of society has their own function just like organs in a body, they all need to be fully functioning together to ensure the body/society maintains health. The human body also grows
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