Compare and Contrast Marx’s Idea of Class and Durkheim’s Division of Labour?

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Compare and contrast Marx’s idea of class and Durkheim’s division of labour? The essay will begin by providing a brief introduction into the two perspectives of Functionalism and Marxism, focusing on the theories of the French Sociologist Emile Durkheim and the German philosopher Karl Marx. Then it will give a brief discussion showing the transformation that took place from feudalism to capitalism, providing the reader with an insight into the dramatic change that took place during a time of revolution and revolt. Finally the essay will compare and contrast Marx’s idea of class and class conflict with Durkheim’s theory on the Division of labour. The Functionalist perspective is more commonly linked to the sociologist Emile Durkheim…show more content…
In was during medieval Britain that feudalism ruled the land. The social hierarchy was labelled as estates and it was the private ownership of the land that differentiated the estates from one another. Those in the higher estates who controlled ownership of the land had more legal rights and luxuries than those from the lower estate. Those from the lower estates had a legal obligation by law to fulfil duties to those whom were above them. Any ownership of private land was ascribed at birth and there was very little social upward mobility. It was then that society went through a drastic and fast transformation. The introduction of new machinery created a prominent industrial society which created a capitalist society. It was then for the first time that most of the work took place amongst factories. The work was then divided into specialised areas and overlooked by managers. Throughout this capitalist era societies were referred to as modern societies (Cohen & Kennedy: 2007). As capitalist societies expanded, Marx argued that exploitation amongst workers became more apparent. Marx believed that the only way to get rid of the exploitation, oppression and alienation was for a revolution amongst the proletariat workers. Marx suggests that it is only when the means of production are communally owned, that class divisions among the masses will disappear.

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