Compare the Functionalist and Marxist Perspective on Society

1104 Words Oct 27th, 2008 5 Pages
COMPARE THE FUNCTIONALIST AND MARXIST PERSPECTIVE ON SOCIETY
INTRODUCTION
“Lotto a ticket to your dreams” Vote Lucky Five and give yourself a chance fi step up inna life”. These slogans represent the societal belief of the Jamaican people that there are means by which one individual can move from one stratum of the Jamaican society to another. In some societies ones position in society is ascribed and fixed as in many Asian societies. These systems reinforce the idea of inequality and social change is nearly impossible. There are many different sociological theories that attempt to explain how society or aspects of society work together. Different theories try to understand social behaviour at different levels of investigation. There are
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Marxism
"In Contemporary Sociological Theory, Wallace and Wolf define Marxist theory as a sociological theory that identifies economic factors as the fundamental determinant of social structure and change (Wallace and Wolf 78-79). According to Marxist theory, economics shapes our society and determines our interests. As a result of economic factors, classes are formed and conflicts arise, this the theorists contends happens because one class cannot make economic gains without exploiting another class. When the exploitation becomes evident, the classes will struggle for power." The Marxist theory explains social structure through class struggle. One class exploits the product of the labor of another class in order to prosper. This prediction that the “exploited masses” would increase and defeat the capitalist system has not happened yet, but the prediction and the senses behind it are adequate knowledge to union leaders and business societies alike. Any infirmity or ineffectiveness in the functioning of these simple mechanisms aid in accounting for difficulty and disequilibrium or the end of order. “Marxist analysis starts with the essential theory that people must produce in order to live”. Individual societies can be seen as subsystems working within an “increasingly interconnected global system of transnational economic, legal institutions, and politics”.

CONCLUSION
Functionalism and Marxism are both known