Karl Marx and Durkheim

932 Words Oct 21st, 2005 4 Pages
The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were full of evolving social and economic ideas. These views of the social structure of urban society came about through the development of ideas taken from the past revolutions. As the Industrial Revolution progressed through out the world, so did the gap between the class structures. The development of a capitalist society was a very favorable goal for the upper class. By using advanced methods of production introduced by the Industrial Revolution, they were able to earn a substantial surplus by ruling the middle class. Thus, maintaining their present class of life, while the middle class was exploited and degraded. At this time in history, social theorists like Emile Durkheim and Karl Marx …show more content…
Together these comprise the mode of production; Marx observed that within any given society the mode of production changes, and that European societies had progressed from a feudal mode of production to a capitalist mode of production. In general, Marx believed that the means of production change more rapidly than the relations of production (for example, we develop a new technology, such as the Internet, and only later do we develop laws to regulate that technology). For Marx this mismatch between (economic) base and (social) superstructure is a major source of social disruption and conflict.
Alienation is a process whereby people come to be divorced or isolated from the society around them
Marx argues that alienation in capitalist societies is due to the fact that in work, we each contribute to the common wealth, but can only express this fundamentally social aspect of ourselves through a production system that is not social but privately owned, for which we function as instruments, not as social beings.
Criticism
Marx attributes alienation to the social organization specific to capitalism. Critics point out that mass society has its own dynamics, which may be distinct from
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