Essay about A Comparison of Marxist and Functionalist Views on Society

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A Comparison of Marxist and Functionalist Views on Society

There is a division between functionalists and Marxists over the functions of the society.

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 that 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
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The Marxist theory in contradiction challenges the general agreement and believes that society is based on conflict. The conflict theory shows that people are encouraged to be competitive. A Functionalist recognises conflict but sees it as minimal and a temporary disturbance yet a Marxist believes that the main source of conflict is social class, they see that upper class people are able to dominate society and society's institutions.

A Functionalist believes that the individual is connected to the social system via their norms and values, this is known as value consensus. They believe that social institutions promote value consensus whereas a Marxist believes that social institutions promote ruling class ideology, where your position in society is deserved.

A Marxist believes that the infrastructure shapes the rest of the society. They believe that a small privileged class owns the society and that the laws are made in the interest of the wealthy. This contrasts with the functionalist beliefs, they see society as a system and that all parts are inter-related, they see that the laws are made in the interest of everyone within the society.

A Marxist believes that there are two classes, the Bourgeoisie who are the ruling class and the Proletariat who are the working class. Marxists say that the lifestyles of the Bourgeoisie have been paid
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