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Karl Marx Class Conflict Essay Topics

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  • Social Learning Theory Chesney Lind

    2,600 words

    Studies have been conducted on what factors lead to delinquency. Proposed factors of delinquency have been studied in three major fields, biological, psychological, and sociological. This study is guided by psychological and sociological theories. The question of whether or not relationships among attachment, aggression, and delinquency exist was investigated through survey research. Attachment, aggression, and delinquent behavior were measured for college students from three universities, one a...
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  • Boston Houghton Mifflin Sexual Harassment

    1,569 words

    ... valor properly (Ziegler, 1999, p. 1 -mod 3). The psychoanalytic paradigm indicates that parents are the influencers of their children (Ziegler, 1999, p. 1 -mod 3). Parents today so often let television and other resources be the influencers instead of them, therefore these resources develop sexual attitudes. Parents need to get back their J-O-B and advocates should continue to deter the media and demand advertisement agencies display moral and ethical presentations. Advocates must find a way...
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  • East Timor Conflict Theory

    1,442 words

    ... ll show ourselves that we can do it! We must put in the past the evil they have done to us. Tomorrow is ours! (Mydans, Oct. 23 rd 1999). The last 900 Indonesian soldiers left this island territory pulled down their red and white flag and departed from East Timor of the 31 st of October (Mydans, Oct 31 st 1999), therefore East Timor was officially free of any Indonesian reign. Now many researchers say that this is the long beginning of East Timor. What has happened to East Timor will take yea...
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  • Fifty Years Ago Emile Durkheim

    1,889 words

    The democracy we have in America today is very complex. This democracy starts out with political parties whose main purpose is to gain control of the government by winning elections Appelbaum and Chambliss (1997: 366). In the United States, unlike in most other democracies, there are only two political parties with any substantial influence over government policies Appelbaum and Chambliss (1997: 366). Third parties are also apparent in elections. These third parties are often successful in small...
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  • Single Parent Families Theoretical Perspectives

    1,502 words

    ... Aspin, 1996). Single-parenting figures have risen due to several reasons including an aspiration for higher educational qualifications; women have increased job opportunities and they are hence able to support their families. Technological advances in fertility treatments now make it possible and easier for single women to have children, and also, with the ease of divorce and social service benefits, single-parenthood is more appealing. When consider the increase in single parent families an...
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  • World Trade Center Conflict Theory

    999 words

    A terrible event took place on September 11 th 2001. Our nation was attacked, but not over seas or financially. This nation and its people were attacked here, within the United States, by our own planes. Members of the Islamic extremist group know as the Taliban attacked the United States and our way of life. The leader and financier of this group, Bin Ladin, is now the main suspect as the mastermind behind this attack. These people seek not only to destroy buildings and kill Americans, but they...
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  • Importance Of Cultural Integration In Society

    576 words

    Cultural Integration is when material and non-material culture become interrelated. Material culture includes aspects like technology of a society. Non-material culture includes things like norms and values of a society. In cultural integration, both material and non-material culture impact each other. For example, some cultures religion influence what individuals wear in that particular society. In some middle-eastern religions, women are required to wear veils over their face at all times. Vei...
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  • Quit His Job Prejudice And Discrimination

    1,339 words

    Introduction Background of the movie Explaining Stratification Deficiency Theory Functionalism Conflict Theory Symbolic Interactions Perspective on Discrimination and Stratification Symbolic Interactions Functionalism Conflict Theory Conclusion Sociology Video Assignment In this world that we live in, stratification and other types of discrimination is evident. Each individual in the society is entitled to their own beliefs and opinions about a certain matter. Everyday individuals experience cha...
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  • Emile Durkheim Symbolic Interaction

    2,130 words

    Much Abbreviated of the Destruction of the Indies Multiple Question Essay In your own words define and discuss in detail 'C. Wright Mills', "the Sociological Imagination." Use a personal example to work through the process of the Sociological Imagination and how it is utilized. Charles Wright Mills is a well-known American sociologist. One of his best known works is The Sociological Imagination. According to C. Wright Mills, sociological imagination can be examined as ability to connect societal...
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  • Sociological Theory Conflict Theorists

    1,133 words

    Ralf Dahrendorf When we try to explain why things happen to us, or whats going on in our world today, or why things are different now than they were before we always deal with sociological processes. Sociological theorists think similarly to the rest of us, but, perhaps, in a slightly more organized fashion. We think of social theory as an abstract from our own social experiences but the ideas that we call social theories are intricately interwoven with the familiar practical experiences of ever...
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  • Division Of Labor Sociological Theory

    950 words

    Sociology It is known, that social conflict have roots in the ideas of Karl Marx, the great German theorist and political activist. Marx emphasized a materialist interpretation of history, a dialectical method of analysis and a political program of revolution. His conflict theory was based on production relations: (ownership vs. non-ownership of means of production). Building on Marx social conflict theory it has to substitute relations of power for property as the cause of conflict and explore ...
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  • Single Parent Families Theoretical Perspectives

    3,076 words

    Through interpreting the information in the table below, construct an argument that accounts for the trends in marriage and fertility rates. Give alternative explanations for changes in family structure. Support your argument with information from the table and other evidence form you course. Selected Family Trends in Australia Over Three Decades Early 1970 sLate 1990 s Rate of cohabitation prior to marriage 15 % 60 %Median age at first marriage (women / men ) 21 / 23. 426 / 28 Total fertility r...
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  • Juvenile Delinquency Criminal Justice

    4,611 words

    Class, State, And Crime: Social Conflict Perspective Class, State, And Crime: Social Conflict Perspective Michael Merchant Class: Social Psychology Class, State, and Crime: Social Conflict Perspective How does Class, state, and social controls within a capitalistic society lead to increase crime due to the criminal laws and criminal justice system imposed on the lower middle class. Social conflict theory is the only one out of the vast number of criminology theories that deals directly with this...
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  • D A R E Conflict Theory

    1,985 words

    Community Policing During the 1960 s and 1970 s there was an increase in the tension between people and the police. There seemed to be even more tension between the police and minorities. During this time there were many riots that sparked up, this caused the policing community to look at new ways to approach the way they looked at policing. The new way of policing that they came up with was community policing. This paper is going to look at community policing through conflict theory. To look an...
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  • Anorexia Nervosa Barbie Doll

    3,146 words

    The worship of the supermodel has become a cult, and the parent of even the scrawniest 6 -year-old girl will know that she is quite likely to come home from school announcing that she is starting a diet. Such food denial is clearly an abnormal process, and one that is in conflict with the eating-oriented habits of families and societies. It is hardly surprising that eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia cause such distress to friends and relatives. It also means that those who pr...
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  • Symbolic Interaction Conflict Theory

    558 words

    Functionalism, Conflict Theory And Symbolic Interaction Essay, Functionalism, Conflict Theory And Symbolic Interaction The functionalist they can be traced to a movement in the late nineteenth-century under the influences of Darwinism on the biological and social sciences. It is an attempt to understand the world, and it tests the cause and effect of sociological behavior. Some of the more famous functionalists are Charles Darwin, Emile Durkheim, and Horace Kallen. Horace Kallens article in the ...
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  • Law Enforcement Agencies Members Of Society

    1,225 words

    Marijuana is the second most popular drug after alcohol in the country today. So many people smoke marijuana that the numbers alone seem to legitimize and condone its presence in peoples lives. Yet, even in moderation marijuana is not safe. Somehow this information had not filtered down to people who think they are smoking a fairly innocuous drug. Our society perpetuates the myths about pot being a fun, harmless, recreational drug. These myths feed into peoples denial of marijuana's problems (Ba...
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  • Negative Stereotypes Conflict Theory

    866 words

    Intergroup Perspectives Chapter 9: Realistic Group Conflict and Prejudice Michael Platow (LaTrobe University) and Jackie Hunter (University of Otago) This chapter will examine the theory of realistic group conflict and the contributions it has made to understanding prejudice and intergroup behaviour (Campbell, 1965; Sherif, 1966). From this perspective, negative attitudes and prejudice arise when groups compete for scarce resources and their interests are incompatible (e. g. , one group gains an...
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  • Power And Prestige System Of Social

    1,148 words

    Conflict Theory and Functionalism There are three main theories of sociology; functionalism, conflict theory and symbolic interactions. This paper will focus on two of those theories, functionalism and conflict theory. The objective is to delineate the assumptions of two out of the three theoretical perspectives and apply these assumptions to an analysis of social stratification. How this will be accomplished will be by comparing and contrasting their assumptions and by analyzing the two theorie...
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  • Criminal Justice System Labeling Theory

    1,050 words

    Can Labeling Theory Liz Bruce Can Critical Perspective Explain Crime? Many psychologists and sociologists have spent years trying to ascertain why criminals continue to commit crimes, and why certain prevention tactics still do not deter crime. There are two theories that became very prominent in the sixties, as to some of the reasons surrounding criminals, these theories are known as the labeling theory and the conflict theory. The two theories do very well in showing some of the problems that ...
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Essay on Marxian Theory of Class Struggle

The Idea of Class Conflict is Central to Marxian Thought:

The theory of class struggle or class conflict is central to Marxian thought. In fact, Marxian sociology is often called “The sociology of class conflict.” The idea of class war emerges from the theories of dialectical materialism, materialistic interpretation of history, and surplus value. The main promise of the “Marxian Class Theory” is to be found in the opening sentence of his famous work “The Communist Manifesto, 1848” which reads as follows;

“The history of the hitherto existing society is the history of the class struggles. Freeman and slave, patrician and plebian, lord and serf, guild-master and journey man, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on uninter­rupted, now hidden and now open fight, a fight that each time ended in a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in common ruin of the contending classes. ”

It is clear from the above that at every stage in history, there is war between the classes. The landowner exploits the landless, and the factory owner exploits the workers. Between classes, there is endless antagonism and hatred. Class conflict is the severest form of class antagonism.

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War between Classes:

Marx says that according to the relentless law of history, a particular class owns and controls the means of production, and by virtue of this exploits the rest of the people. The capitalist class makes use of the state as an instrument of oppression and exploitation.

Thus at every stage there are broadly two classes: the owners of means of production, that is, exploiters on one side and the exploited on the other. History presents nothing but the record of a war between classes.

Every exploiting class at each stage gives rise to an opposite class. Hence thesis and anti-thesis can be noted. Feudal barons and capitalists form the thesis, and the serf and the proletariat respectively constitute the anti-thesis. Marx gave a call to the workers to overthrow the thesis of capitalism by the antithesis of organised labour.

Essential Aspects of the Marxian Theory of Class Conflict:

Marx developed his theory of class conflict in his analysis and critique of the capitalist society. The main ingredients of this theory of conflict have been enlisted by Abraham and Morgan who may be briefly described here

1. The Development of the Proletariat:

Accentuation of capital is the essence of capitalism. In Raymond Aron’s words, “The essence of capitalist exchange is to proceed from money to money by way of commodity and end up with more money than one had at the outset.” Capital is gained, according to Marx, from the exploitation of the masses of population, the working class.

“The capitalist economic systems transformed the masses of people into workers, created for them a common situation and inculcated in them an awareness of common interest. Through the development of class consciousness, the economic conditions of capitalism united the masses and constituted them into “a class for itself’….. (Abraham and Morgan. Page: 37.)

2. Importance of Property:

According to Marx, the most distinguishing feature of any society is its form of property. An individual’s behaviour is determined by his relations to property. Classes are determined on the basis of individual’s relation to the means of production. Means of production or forces of production represent a type of property which in the capitalist society is owned by the capitalists.

Here, an individual’s occupation is not important but his relations to the means of production are important. “Property divisions are the crucial breaking lines in the class structure.”

3. Identification of Economic and Political Power and Authority:

From a Marxian perspective, political power emerges from economic power. The power of the ruling class therefore stems from its ownership and control of the forces of production. The political and legal systems reflect ruling class interests. In Marx’s words: “The existing relations of production between individuals must necessarily express themselves also as political and legal relations.

“The capitalists who hold monopoly of effective private property take control of political machinery. Their interests are clearly reflected in their political and ideological spheres. As Raymond Aron points out, “Political power, properly so-called, is merely the organised power of one class for oppressing another.” The political power and ideoiogy thus seem to serve the same functions for capitalists that class consciousness serves for the working class.

4. Polarisation of Classes:

In the capitalist society there could be only two social classes: (i) The capitalists who own the means of production and distribution, and (ii) the working classes who own nothing but their own labour. Though Marx had repeatedly referred to the intermediate state such as the “small capital­ists”, “the petti bourgeoisie”, and the “iumpenproletariat”, he was of the firm belief that at the height of conflict these would be drawn into the ranks of the proletariat. Raymond Aron has termed this process as “proletarianisation.”

5. The Theory of Surplus Value:

Marx believed that the capitalists accumulate profit through the exploitation of labour. In fact, the relationship between the capitalists and workers is not only one of dominance and subordination, but also of exploitation. The workers produce more wealth in the form of food, manufactured goods and services than is necessary to meet their basidc needs.

In other words, they produce “surplus wealth.” But they do not enjoy the use of the surplus they have created. Instead, those who own the means of production are able to seize this surplus wealth as “profit” for their own use. According to Marx, this is the essence of exploitation and the main source of conflict between the classes.

6. Pauperisation:

Exploitation of the workers can only add to their misery and poverty. But the same exploitation helps the rich to become richer. As Marx says “the wealth of the bourgeoisie is swelled by large profits with corresponding increase in the mass of poverty; of pressure, of slavery, of exploitation” of the proletariat.

In every mode of production which involves the exploitation of man by man, majority of people, the people who labour, are condemned to toil for no more than the barest necessities of life. With this, society gets divided into rich and poor. To Marx, poverty is the result of exploitation not of scarcity.

7. Alienation:

The process of alienation is central to Marxian theory of class conflict. The economic exploita­tion and inhuman working conditions lead to increasing alienation of man. Alienation results from a lack of sense of control over the social world. The social world confronts people as a hostile thing, leaving them “alien” in the very environment that they have created.

The workers caught in the vicious circle of exploitation find no way to get out of it. Hence they lose interest in work. Work becomes an enforced activity, not a creative and a satisfying one.

The responsibility of the worker gets diminished because he does not own the tools with which he works; he does not own the final product too. He is “a mere cog in a machine” and nothing else. This situation of alienation ripens the mood of the worker for a conflict.

8. Class Solidarity and Antagonism:

With the growth of class consciousness among the working class, their class solidarity becomes cystalised. The working class becomes internally more homogeneous and this would help to intensify the class struggle.

Because of this class feeling and solidarity, the workers are able to form unions against the bourgeoisie. They club together in order to keep up the rate of wages. They form associa­tions in order to make provisions beforehand for occasional revolts. Here and there contests break out into riots.

9. Revolution:

When the class struggle reaches its height, a violent revolution breaks out which destroys the structure of capitalist society. This revolution is most likely to occur at the peak of an economic crisis which is part of the recurring booms, and repressions characteristic of capitalism.

“Marx predicted that the capitalists would grow fewer and stronger as a result of their endless competition; that the middle class would disappear into the working class, and that the growing poverty of the workers would spark a successful revolution.” (I. Robertson.) Marx has asserted, unlike other wars and revolutions, this would be a historic one.

10. The Dictatorship of the Proletariat:

Marx felt that the revolution would be a bloody one. This revolution terminates the capitalist society and leads to the social dictatorship of the proletariat. Since the revolution results in the liquidation of the bourgeoisie, they will cease to have any power and will be reduced to the ranks of the proletariat. Thus, the inevitable historical process destroys the bourgeoisie.

The proletariats then establish their social dictatorship. But this expression “social dictatorship of the proletariat” has become a topic of controversy among the communists themselves. Many have abandoned that “treach­erous phrase” particularly after the tyrannical Stalinist and post-Stalinist dictatorships.

Marx himself had written that he differentiated himself from “those communists who were out to destroy personal liberty and who wish to turn the world into one large barrack or into a gigantic warehouse.

11. Inauguration of the Communist Society:

After attaining the success in the revolution, the workers in course of time, would create a new socialist society. In this new society the means of producing and distributing wealth would be pub­licly and not privately owned. This new socialist society would be a classless and a casteless society free from exploitation of all sorts.

The state which has no place in such a society will eventually “wither away”. In this society nobody owns anything but everybody owns everything. Each indi­vidual contributes according to his ability and receives according to his needs.