I shall asses points for and against this argument and conclude. Karl Marx (a Marxist sociologist) believes that the education system preforms two main functions in a capitalist society. Firstly, Marx believes the education system reproduces the inequalities and social relations of production of capitalist society. In contrast, the government claim that the education system provides equality and education to all which surely would not serve to maintain a capitalist society. Marx’s first point suggests that education surely does not provide equality, this is for reasons being that education is a meritocratic institution that only benefits the student which conform with the desired qualities, such as doing as they are told and being high academic achievers.
The class struggle’s which Marx refers to above is that of the Bourgeoisie, who own the means of production and the proletariat, who sell their labour. Marx believed that the two classes are based on a contradiction, this ascends from the fact that the workers who make the commodities do not get the profit that is made. Instead the profit goes to the Bourgeoisie, over time
Some argue that this in fact was to build a bigger, the economy can be seen not as a genuine desire to help unemployed and sick but to challenge Germany. On the other hand there were genuine reasons for the Liberal reforms. There was a real urge to move away from ‘laisse faire’ to a more interventionist approach. Politicians such as Herbert Asquith, Lloyd George, and Winston Churchill, all want to help the poor. The Liberals reformed because of necessity.
However, Marxists criticise this and argue that education in capitalist society only transmits the ideology of the ruling class and not the shared values of society. Furthermore, Durkheim argues that modern industry has a complex division of labour where production of a single product involves cooperation from many different specialists. But for this to be successful, each person must have the necessary specialist knowledge and skills to perform their role. So education teaches individuals specialist skills and knowledge that individuals need to play their part in the social division of labour. So the main function of education is to maintain a value consensus in society.
This leads them to the working life where you work under capitalists and accept orders from superior employers. Therefore they prepare for your working life which benefits the capitalists, however Functionalists view is that the family teaches us the shared norms and values of the society, but not just the norms and values of the ruling class. Although Marxists further argue the family does this through punishments and rewards and being role models. Also Feminists believe that Marxists do not give more attention to the exploitation of women within the family for example, the family produces labour at low cost to the capitalist system as
Assess the usefulness of Marxist approaches to an understanding of crime and deviance in contemporary society Marxist criminologists argue that the state passes laws which support ruling-class interests, and maintain its control and power over the subject class. They put forward the view that laws do not reflect value consensus, but instead reflect the values of ruling class ideology. Therefore, laws work towards false class consciousness, as laws only benefit the ruling minority. Many Marxists also argue that there are a vast number of laws protecting property, and Snider (1993) argued the state is often reluctant to pass laws which might threaten profitability. She also argued capitalist states often pour large amounts of money into attracting business; for example offering new investors tax concessions and grants.
Like Durkheim (a Functionalist), Marx believed it was possible to understand society scientifically and scientific knowledge would lead to a better society. However (unlike Durkheim), he believed capitalism would increase human misery before giving way to a classless, communist society, in which humans would be free to fulfil their potential. He believed that history would go through a series of base changes – primitive communism, ancient society, feudalism, capitalism and then communism. The organisation of production in a society shapes the nature of society – refers to this as the base/superstructure. According to Marx – in a capitalist society, the economic relationship of exploitation requires ideologies in the superstructure to cover up inequality – they are not innocent/neutral because they justify inequality and serve the interest of powerful groups.
Marxists also believe that the capitalist system creates laws that are seen to favour the working class and make them think the system is fair and just, however, these are only put in place to appease the subject class and give the appearance of fairness. Marxists also recognise that crime happens across all social sections, and they challenge the view that crime is a working class phenomenon. This take on crime can be criticised because there is too much emphasis on class inequalities in policing and law enforcement, they fail to recognise racial discrimination within crime. In addition this theory is also very deterministic, believing that criminals are driven to crime as victims of the capitalist system, and for also believing that all the working class in a capitalist society commits crime, for example Japan is a capitalist society but they have very low crime rates, this opposes the view of the Marxists. Further criticisms come from the Left Realists, they say that most of the working class crime is not committed against the state as the
Legislators attacked union organizers; people who held the idea that working class existed, conflicts with the capitalists, and believed that the working class should challenge the power of capitalists. The attacks began due to increase in living standards; the working class was able to buy homes, cars, and make more money. Upward mobility seemed natural in this time period since the working class earned more and had similar living standards to the middle class and capitalist. Unions had different perspectives on “class talk”. The American Federation of Labor (AFL) did not have interest in working class and focused on the prosperity of the members.
No one really knows where wage inequality came from but there are several theories. When it comes to the building industry two major factors that lead to wage inequality are outsourcing and immigrants. The reason why immigrants cause wage inequalities is because they will work for less than the average American citizen. The only reason we outsource is to get the work done at a cheaper cost. Some believe that wage inequality was caused by educated people versus uneducated people.