This essay will study two theoretical sociological perspectives on contemporary society and how it works. It will compare Marxism and functionalism. By explaining and analyzing the talents and weaknesses of both perspectives.
Marx called the machine in which we reside in, capitalism, He divided it up into two basic divisions, the 'bourgeoisie' (the owners of development), the bourgeoisie own all the method of production for example the farmland and factories and the 'proletariat' (The Workers) sell their skills and labour to the bourgeoisie. That is a straightforward view of your complex social occurrence; theoretically more social classes should be determined. It does not take into account any sub divisions.
The bourgeoisie or 'ruling class' gain the most from the way that society operates and the proletariat do not and for that reason gain much less than they have earned. Marx thought that the proletariats would, in the end, won't conform and revolt, destroying the bourgeoisie to be remembered as free for oppression and gain communal mobility.
"The actual Bourgeoisie, therefore produces, most importantly, is its own grave diggers, (Marx, Engels, 1884).
Marx thought that the bourgeoisie did not improve world but created situations of turmoil, what he didn't take into account was the amount of money that they were putting back into society which fact that without them the majority of the proletariat would be without work.
The superstructure for example: THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, legal system, religion and the media are all had by and utilized by the bourgeoisie to make 'false class consciousness ' among the proletariat in order to avert them from rebelling off their exploitation (Haralambos, 2002, p. 2).
According to Marx capitalism is the hottest type of school system, but it will also be the previous. A communist culture where the means of production will be similarly had will replace capitalism, he thought that the proletariat will form unions, political parties and groundbreaking movements permitting communism to overthrow capitalism (haralambous, 2002, p. 7).
What Marx didn't do is set a time structure for the trend. Some unions that contain previously revolted up against the bourgeoisie have failed and temporarily sent world into disarray. The power in financial systems is separable from other resources, male and feminine inequalities can't be explained in financial terms (Giddens, 2009, p. 93).
The theory is insufficient because it only fully clarifies a percentage of society and does not take into account individuals ideals and ambitions.
A positive facet of Marxism is the fact it shows inequality and corporations that foster and perpetuate inequality it has taken a different perspective to study of cultural systems and they have demonstrated a public conscience. The target of Marxism has lead to the formulation of sociable policies and programs.
Functionalism is a sociological perspective that society is dependant on consensus, consensus assumes that norms and beliefs in society are generally agreed and that social life is dependant on co-operation, somewhat than issue (Lawson, 1996, p. 48). What it does not consider is the fact some people in order to buy into the way that population functions and this not everyone contains that same norms and beliefs. It is the oldest yet still is the most dominant theoretical point of view in sociology.
Functionalists such as Talcott Parsons (1902-1979), argued that the main element to understanding individuals behavior is understanding socialization. He used the analogy of the human body, with each part of culture having a function (a purpose) like each essential organ for example; the federal government of society was compared to the human brain. If one part of culture fails the whole system would fail, like the body would if it was to lose a vital organ. Parsons (1971) even viewed the whole world as something of societies.
Functionalists believe that people and their interpersonal roles are produced by society and people themselves do not produce a society. He claimed that folks are products of their affects e. g. families, friends, educational and spiritual qualifications and the multimedia that they are exposed to. They are simply born to their place in world, play their tasks in it and they die, without at all effecting how world functions, society will not and it is constantly on the work long once they have died(Moore, 2001, p. 6). For functionalists communal institutes are thought to ensure that the socially appropriate patterns of behaviour are offered or reproduced. For instance family, education and the press socialise people into the key beliefs of society this consists of, respect for specialist and the hierarchy (Moore, 2001, p. 9). Stratification which is inescapable in societies unites people since it derives from shared values.
Durkhiem (1938) determined four main characteristics of offense he argued that criminal offense is a sociable construct, which can in fact benefit population because offense strengthens bonds between people. It reinforces norms and values, and a restricted amount of crime is necessary to avoid population stagnating.
"Offense could be reduced if individuals were controlled, but this would prevent development of positive deviants who not in favor of societies norms and prices, yet move world in advance", (Durkhiem, 1938).
Parsons (1965) identified religion as an important function in contemporary society as it helps people is crises, permitting them to carry on participating in their social functions, allowing society to function normally.
Parsons also identified that in order for society to function everyone was required to constantly play their own tasks, he identified the 'sick and tired role', where in fact the function is to learn the role of being ill and get better as soon as possible in order to get back in to your role. In order for the system to execute, all tasks must be filled by those best experienced to execute them, he even thought that those who are unemployed had a job to play for those in higher power to keep their roles. He stated that those in who successfully played their jobs will be placed highly and will receive rewards, although it can be argued that the system (sociable stratification) for insuring effective role allocation; attaches unequal rewards and privileges to positions in culture. However a criticism of Functionalism is that it's, descriptive and classificatory in support of gives labels for culture and interpersonal changes, and will not clarify them.
Although both Marxism and Functionalism see society differently, there is also some similarities: they are both positivists, built using medical research methods. Positivism is named macro sociology because it looks at culture as a whole; however taking a look at society out of this perspective does not take into account the individuals and their norms and worth.
They both have a 'top down' procedure, the belief that viewing society as a real 'thing' which is accessible far beyond us all as individuals is the best way to view population. Both theories acknowledge the value of 'totality' (marsh, 2006)
The favoured research solutions to check out behavioural habits is those that generate sets of information such as questionnaires- known as quantitative methods this isn't always that best approach to research contemporary society, because not everyone is studied.
They both assume that man is compelled into his choices by the buildings and systems in culture, although they both have different views upon this, functionalists believe that this is right and it must be for modern culture to work, and folks accept culture as it is. Marxist on the other side believe that it is wrong and unfair, and that man will struggle in order to make a fairer society
In distinction to Marxism which recognises public change and aspires towards it functionalism does not recognise it totally, and assumes every establishment is a positive for society.
Looking at the data of both Marxism and functionalism, the population, today inclines more towards functionalism. Many people are happy with the machine they reside in. If too many people were to try and change it culture would not work as well; an example of this is actually the post office hits; people didn't receive charges, money or other important email, this forces culture to have no sympathy for the postal staff. That is also a good example of Marxist theory not working as he said it could; although it did not last too long and a lot of people did benefit. This gives us reason to question if we only recognize society as it is because as a culture we live 'lazy', if we were to unite as a world, could we overthrow the bourgeoisie as Marx advised we'd?
Lower class residents are keeping the higher classes in work, this helps to keep money within the machine in turn they receive status advantages from the fees that they pay. If all the low classes were to try and progress the public ladder they might be no reason behind some of the bourgeoisie, for example if all criminals and deviants, reformed and started out working there would be no need for, law enforcement services, state courts and probation officials. Some amount of crime is essential to keep higher classes including the uniformed services in work.
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