Marx's Influence on Community Development

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Marx’s Influence on Community Development

This essay explores Marx’s influence on community development, within the parameters of social justice. I felt it was necessary to narrow down the focus of this topic as Marx has been translated, philosophized, reiterated, rewritten and rethought by a plethora of philosophers, sociologists, economists etc. I am also concentrating on Marx’s written ideas with regard to Western civilization. This essay does not enter into debate or description of contemporary Marxist or neo-Marxists approaches. Also, included in the discussion is conflict theory within which Marx’s ideas are formulated. Five of Marx’s major contributions to sociology and economics are described to inform the essay. These entail
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2000). It is from the standpoint of conflict theory that Marxists and neo-Marxists have examined the position of power in the capitalist system, which rests in the minority hands of those with economic control (Van Krieken et al. 2000). Craig (cited in Craig 2002, p. 670) said of the present day market that it is ‘the fundamental cause of much injustice, both social and economic’. Marx’s concept of conflict has influenced today’s community development practice offering theories on which to analyze and study social injustices
Today, the same issues of oppression and inequality though different in historical context are the major challenges for community development in that it strives to manage and transform the conflictive issues of social relations, power struggles and oppressive elements within a society (Kenny 1996). These issues are antithetical to the goals and aims of community development and it is by studying and applying Marx’s theories to situations in the world and the community that change and social justice can hopefully be attained.

Marx and capitalism

Marx contributed five major concepts to sociology: alienation, economic life and other social institutions, social classes, conflict as a theory of social change and capitalism (Abercrombie, Turner & Hill (2000). All of these concepts are pertinent to
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