Karl Marx And Weber Comparison

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In the comparison of the theoretical and methodological perspectives of radical Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, liberal Emile Durkheim, and liberal Max Weber, there must be an understanding that essentially they were all thinkers of the Enlightenment. The philosophical basis of the Enlightenment was that human beings are substantially perfectible. Furthermore, what delayed their intellectual progress were the inequalities of society, which were deep-seated from the feudal emphasis of faith and tradition. The principles incorporated stated that in order to facilitate this intellectual progress, that the significance must be placed and supported by science and reason.

Durkheim’s method was to study a phenomenon in terms of the nature and number
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Marx and Engels observed conflict as normal and liberal fixed in social institutions and expressed by self-conscious classes. Durkheim considered that conflict was atypical and potentially hazardous when expressed by estranged members, indicating social inefficiency and moral crisis. Weber asserted that conflict was not unusual and that the conflict amongst interest groups may cause a social movement. Marx and Engels believed that change was normal and progressive and rooted in contradictions within social institutions occurring rapidly in violent revolution. On the subject of alienation, Marx and Engels proposed that in a capitalist society there was alienation from human potential and productive activity based on system of exploitation which ultimately produced and led to class struggle. Durkheim believed change was abnormal and suggestive of disequilibrium and acted as a response to external threats to the collective conscience occurring gradually through adaptation. Alienation, he contended, stems from shared beliefs and values (social facts) and collective activities. Weber viewed change as problematic and believed social movements emerged with charismatic authority and might affect change if organized. Regarding alienation, for Weber it wasn’t a major concern

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