Marxist And Functionalist Essay

829 WordsApr 17, 20124 Pages
4. Discuss the similarities and differences between conflict/Marxist theories and functionalist theories in sociology. Marxism was founded by Karl Marx. Marx saw society as divided into two major parts, the economic base otherwise known as the infrastructure and the super-structure. Functionalists see society as a set of parts which work together to form a whole. Functionalism is also called a consensus theory. Marxism and functionalism are similar in that, they see the way society is structured as an important part in determining the way people have relationships and behave between themselves. This is known as structural perspective. Both functionalists and Marxists believe that people are portrayed as creature within the social system. Functionalists believe that society operates to the benefit of everybody. They stress that societies continue to exist because a lot of the time there is consensus between various aspects of society. Functionalism or (structural functionalism) is macro level analysis. It focuses on how people come together to create society. It focuses on whether actions are good for the equilibrium of society, these are called functions. It also focuses on things that undermine the equilibrium, these are called dysfunctions. For example functionalist Conflict theory do not see society as whole coming together well for one purpose. It focuses on class conflict. A key founder of conflict theory was Karl Marx. He believed that there is/or was a bitter conflict between the bourgeoisie (those who own the capital) and the proletariat (the workers who toil for low pay). He believed this conflict could only end when the proletariat repelled aging the bourgeoisie. Functionalist division of labor Education provides society with a ‘division of labor’ this means schools help identify who will be the bin man and who will
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