Karl Marx's Contribution Of Conflict Theory

Improved Essays
Karl Marx’s most significant contribution was the Conflict Theory, much of which is influenced by his published works. Marx’s theories on the clash of two economic ideologies, upended the door for the examination of different facets within a society, many of which that can cause change within the social system at both large and small scales.

Conflict theory is concerned with the more negative functions within a society. Unlike the functionalist theory, which tries to keep certain societal designs and processes from changing, the conflict theory looks to promote social restructure and change in order to solve certain conflicts. Marx particular attributed it to class conflict, or the Proletariat and Bourgeoisie (Steckley & Letts, 2013, p.
…show more content…
Marx only saw the economic class conflict as the major attribute of social change. Although this is an accurate assumption, it is to simplistic in theory and fails to recognize other aspects attributing to change in society. The broadness of conflict within society is not limited only to the wealth of certain groups. Race, ethnicity, religion, age and sex all are able to provoke conflict in a hope to commit change. For example, the Civil Rights Movement of the United States is an example of societal conflict involving a massive social reconstruction. This movement was rooted in some regards to class of an economically oppressed minority, but the cause of the oppression was more linked to racial conflicts. The dominant ideology the times became tolerant of the prejudice, discrimination and segregation experienced by African Americans. Marx did not assume that biological determinates, such as race, could be a catalyst to conflict. The notion, that people who have a certain color skin are inferior, is an example of how cultural norms have the ability to shift once met with resistance. Now the United States has an African American President. This is an example of something that was accomplished because of the counter ideology promoted in the civil rights movement(Steckly, 179). Aspects of Marx’s ideas bear qualities that are worth noting such as the importance of fair …show more content…
Consider for example a brain surgeon making only a little bit more than a janitor. The brain surgeon, who skills are arguably a higher benefit society than that of the janitors, should be paid according to his acquired role. Considering the credentials of that role, which take a much longer time and a more amount of effort to achieve. One might suggest that the reason people try to achieve the statuses of Doctor, Lawyer, and Engineer have more of an incentive to reach their goal and do their job well because of what the job

Related Documents

  • Great Essays

    Weber contrasts to Marx by concentrating on status and rationalisation, believing that Marxism meant that the state had too much control and it potentially could lead to loss of freedoms for the individual. Rationalisation (or motivation capitalism) was a means to increase profit which Weber linked back to the development of a rationalised bureaucratised centralised state (Ritzer, 2011, p. 130). Foucault on the other hand argues that power is predominant through our social system, in particular, technologies that he saw silently controlling and manipulating the masses such as prisons and medicine (Gerrie, 2003). Not only that, but Foucault also noted that power is instantiated by rules set and governed by society, the politics of the use of language, and…

    • 1874 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    From this viewpoint, he differs from Marx who argued that the main institutions in society such as religion, the media and education control the proletariat and it is the ruling class that run these institutions. This view is much more deterministic than Weber’s view who emphasizes the role of the individual. In summation of the points above, It is quite clear that both Karl Marx and Max Weber are two very different theorists who had conflicting ideas about capitalism and different ways in addressing this social category. However, what should be noted is that both theorists aim to contextualize the origins of modern capitalism. What is different however, is that Weber argues that it is culture that catalyzes economic conditions whereas Marx writes that economic conditions manifest themselves in society and…

    • 826 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    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.…

    • 700 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Marx and Engel idea of communism is that “class inequality would end with collective control of property and growth in size of power of the working class” (Essay UK). In summary, under conflict perspective we can say that the basic form of interaction in society is not cooperation, but competition and this leads to conflict. Because individuals and groups compete for advantage and power, there is always going to be conflict in a society. However, when a large group in the lower social class is competing against the upper class for a change, the outcome would often be a major social…

    • 1209 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Affirmative Action: The Price of Preference In “The Price of Preference”, Shelby Steele takes a stance opposing affirmative action and focuses his discussion primarily on the effects that it has on African-Americans. Steele reasons that while affirmative action was created with good intentions, he argues that black people have more to lose from it than they gain. Steele believes that affirmative action strayed from its initial goal of anti-discrimination enforcement and instead escalated into a form of social engineering through preferential treatment. Essentially, the main issue presented by affirmative action is the manner in which it attempts to bypass the development of formerly oppressed groups to the stage where they are fully able to…

    • 984 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    Karl Marx's Philosophy

    • 1291 Words
    • 6 Pages

    For Gramsci, consent is of utmost importance and in order to persuade the working class and the bourgeois itself, philosophy and eloquence must be used to the fullest. Thus in order to for the working class to emancipate themselves, their psyche must change so that they may reformulate their “commonsense” norms. Gramsci understood that the clash of ideas was essentially a war of positions where nothing could be certain. In order to exemplify the eloquence of Marxist thought, he would rely on the works of previous philosophers. The philosophy of praxis as it has become known, is the fusion of older ideas into new ones and this is precisely what Gramsci sought to…

    • 1291 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Karl Marx Vs Durkheim

    • 1330 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Durkheim saw society as rich in cohesion, and without a common understanding and dependence society could not survive. Where he saw harmony, Marx saw division and conflict- classes separated by economic standings and the working class used for the capitalists gain. Despite these differences, and the common conception that these two are polarities, there are several similarities. Both Durkheim and Marx identified the importance of the division of labour on changing society, though they vary on the detail, and that it is a characteristic of emerging capitalism and industrialisation. Both were structuralists, who studied the whole body of society rather than specific aspects of…

    • 1330 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    This alienation is evident in Marx’s commodity fetishism as well as Lukács reification. Further, they argue that this alienation is a major problem of capitalism that needs to be addresses. Both reification and commodity fetishism alienate the worker and establish human beings as objects. The development of class consciousness is how the worker is able to overcome this…

    • 757 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Gabriel Soriano Professor Jacob PHI 2010 3 December 2017 Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto Authoritarian regimes, restricted freedom of speech, international conflicts. These are some of the factors that are often associated with communism from a modern perspective. Appropriation (and alteration) of Karl Marx’s philosophy for personal gain and quests for power by different figures throughout history created confusion a deviation from Marx’s original Ideas, which were inspired by the analysis of class struggles over history, as well as a profound disagreement with capitalism’s ulterior motives. To understand Karl Marx’s ethics and epistemology, it is important to take into consideration his background, as well as the social environment of his…

    • 1014 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    He also found Marx’s two-class model too simplistic. He instead thought social stratification involved three kinds of inequality that were all connected; economic inequality, which he referred to as “class position”, as he saw classes as more of a levelling from high to low, status/social prestige as the second inequality, and the third being power. Weber’s view of social stratification in industrial societies were not a hierarchy of classes but rather a multidimensional and complex. When discussing Marx’s relevance today, we can see many positive and negative consequences of capitalism that he may or not have predicted. For example, there has been rapid growth of the proletariat over the last 250 years as self-employment is no longer viable as industrialization has made everyone proletarians.…

    • 1873 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Superior Essays