Outline the Contribution of Marxism to Our Society Essays

1940 Words Oct 14th, 2011 8 Pages
Marxism is an ideology based on the economic and political theories of Karl Marx and Freidrich Engels. Karl Marx who was born in Germany in 1818 was a revolutionary whose ideas on society were the foundation of communism. Under modern capitalism the means of production, such as factories, land, and technology are controlled by a small minority who Marx called the bourgeoisie. Production is carried out by the working class, known as the proletarians who have to sell their labour or face poverty or starvation. Taken together these two classes form the economic base of society, what Marx called the substructure. Marx saw that there was conflict between these two divisions
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A study by (Will’s, 1977) on working class youths who rejected school and did not believe academic success important, found that schools did not produce obedient servile workers. The boys set their own agenda and were more influenced by relatives and community. Today schools are multicultural with a diverse mixture of classes, religious and ethnic who may clash and pupils may form their own subcultures, as the boys in Will’s study did. Marxist deterministic view did not allow for competitiveness, individuality or self determination. Functionalists such as (Parsons T 1961) argue that education takes over from the family as a socialising agency, preparing children for their role as an adult and is meritocratic. However this is open to question and this system may be viewed as serving those of a minority rather than society as a whole. The Grammar School debate in Northern Ireland is ongoing with the introduction of independent entrance exams which has led to private tutoring for those who can afford it. Research by (Professor Bunting, B.) psychologist at Ulster University has found pupils coached for nine months improved their scores by 40 percent. Many sociologists believe material deprivation plays a major part in under achievement and the recent hike in

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