Compare and contrast Marxist and functionalist explanations of class and inequality

Class AND STRATIFICATION

‘Marx believed that our society was in a province of continual struggle between the working category and upper category ; measure the Marxist theory of societal category utilizing Functionalism and Postmodernism theories of class’ .

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Compare and contrast Marxist and functionalist accounts of category and inequality.

There are several sociological positions and they all have different thoughts and theories about category and inequality, including Marxist ( Karl Marx a struggle theory ) and Functionalist ( Emile Durkheim, Robert Merton a structural consensus theory ) . In this essay I will demo the different theories of societal category from these two positions. I will so reason by measuring the Postmodernist position of societal category.

Marxism was introduced by Karl Marx ( 1818-1883 ) . Karl Marx believed that society was divided into two categories, the Bourgeoisie ( governing category ) and the Proletariats ( lower/working category ) ( Burton, 2013 ) . He believed that that the middle class exploited and oppressed the labor. Marx followed the structural struggle position and believed that establishments such as instruction, the media and the jurisprudence are used by the middle class as a manner to specify and act upon societal category ( Marx, 1818 cited in Blunden, 2013 ) . Marx besides believed that Capitalism would take to polarization of the two categories with the rich acquiring richer while the hapless get poorer. This polarization makes it harder for the poorer classes to accomplish in life every bit good as accomplishing societal mobility. He believed that as the capitalist society advanced the little concern proprietors would be absorbed by the middle class and transnational companies. Marx wanted the labor to subvert the capitalist society of the middle class and hoped for a classless society where wealth and net income was divided every bit ( Anon, n.da ) .

There has been much unfavorable judgment on Marx’s theory of societal category the first being that this theory is much excessively simplistic in that society can non be based on merely two different categories. In a modern society category is non every bit simple as Marx claimed it was and the Communist society that Marx wished for has been tried and failed, Russia is a premier illustration of this. In add-on there are many other divisions within societies that Marx did non see, such as age, race, gender etc. Another major unfavorable judgment is that Marx’s thought if monopolisation has non come to fruition as although there are many big national companies there are besides many little concerns as good despite the procedure of polarization still happening in some countries ( Anon, n.da ) . The Marxist theory of category, although it does keep some valid theories, is flawed in that in a modern society there are many procedures in topographic point to guarantee that workers are non exploited, such as brotherhoods and just rewards Torahs. Besides in a modern society struggle within the workplace is rare as those who are unhappy bashs have the option to better and travel up or down places, so this would propose societal mobility is possible ( Anon, n.da ) .

Functionalism was introduced by Emile Durkheim ( 1858-1917 ) . The chief rule of functionalism is that each portion of a society is mutualist and contributes towards doing society work as a whole. Each of these parts has to be working right but if something does travel incorrect so society has mechanisms to cover with them, such as the constabulary and the legal system. Functionalists besides believe that every societal establishment has many of import maps to execute ( Durkheim, 1858 cited in Burton, 2013 ) . Therefore stratification is necessary for every society as it helps to keep societal order and stableness if every portion knows its function ( Davis & A ; Moore, 1945 cited in Anon, n.d ) . Durkheim introduced the theory ‘anomie’ , or ‘lack of societal norms’ , that could do instability or pandemonium. This construct bought to illume many cases that could impact a society in a negative manner and particularly the behavior of persons towards one another ( Emile Durkheim org, 2013 ) . Another construct put frontward by Durkheim “the amount of all of its parts is larger than the whole” , defined at the debut of the structural/functionalist theory, is as relevant today as it was when foremost introduced ( Gamble, 2008 ) .

There has been much unfavorable judgment on the functionalist account of category, the first being that many of the critical occupations in modern society are non needfully rewarded with high position or income, this is in entire contrast to the functionalist belief that those critical occupations should be rewarded as so. Another large unfavorable judgment of this attack is that it does non take into history single differences, in that persons can do an impact within an establishment instead than the establishment impacting the person ( Anon, n.da ) . This theory, much like the Marxist theory, is simplistic in the thought that all of society accept category inequality and that this inequality is inevitable for society. Postmodernists claim that society has moved on since the modern period and this has been caused by globalization, the decrease of the power of the state province, economic alterations, fragmented societal categories, and relativism, a manner of looking at the universe that includes every theory as valid. As societies change on a day-to-day footing there are more and more claims that societal category is going less important and no longer a utile tool to mensurate societies by and some suggest that it is merely lacking civilization that keeps people in what would be called the lower categories ( Burton, 2013 ) . Postmodernist theories suggest that an individual’s pick of goods, such as supermarket picks, and lifestyle activities is now a much more of import index of an individual’s individuality. This individuality is so what creates a person’s political relations, gender and household construction etc. ( Education Forum, n.d ) . This would so propose that a postmodern society is defined by diverseness and pick instead than societal category.

Within the postmodernist theory there is the accent on the extent to which household diverseness is altering, the diminution in the ‘normal’ two parent two kids households, the growing of individual parent households, cohabitation, cheery matrimony and increasing cultural diverseness. They say there is no longer a fixed household norm that people can mention to ( Education Forum, n.d ) . As society is much more diverse than it was many old ages ago category is no longer relevant. This perspective believes that there can non be a individual theoretical account of society, whether by single parts or as a whole, as society merely exists as a reassuring entity. They argue that in a modern society the mass media plays a immense influential function in making the image of what a society should be. Postmodernists Lyotard and Baudrillard believe that theories such as Marxism and Functionalism are ‘meta-narratives’ or ‘grand-narratives, ’ intending they both elaborate that society is under control, and it can be seen in some topographic points that this is non the instance ( lyotard & A ; Baudrillard, n.d cited in Anon, n.db ) .

Mentions

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