Forums Sociology Contrast Emile Durkheim and Karl Marxs perspectives on society

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    Ayush Nair
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    Contrast Emile Durkheim and Karl Marx’s perspectives on society and social conflict.

    #16134
    Ayush Nair
    Member

    Answer:

    Emile Durkheim’s work is influenced greatly by the emergence of a modern society in the nineteenth century. His main focus was to make sociology a discipline which could bring morality to the society and rid it from the emergent crises. Durkheim’s work is influenced by Comte’s positivist science of society. He wanted to make sociology a scientific discipline and for that, he believed that sociology should have a distinct subject matter of its own. he believed that sociology cannot study everything, only accepted a group of social phenomena qualifies to be its subject matter, he called this subject matter social facts. He defined social facts as ways of thinking, acting and feeling that are external to the individual. Durkheim also wrote a book, The Rules of Sociological Method which a manual for an appropriate sociological method. He was also interested to sociologically analyze the aspects of the moral order of the society. In his book The Division of Labor in Society he studies social solidarity. He asserted that society can be characterized by either mechanical solidarity where there is a greater amount of repressive law or organic solidarity where there the law is more restitutive. In other words, mechanical solidarity is the solidarity of similarity and organic solidarity is the solidarity of difference. Durkheim’s most important contribution is the sociological study of suicide. His purpose was to establish suicide as a social fact, he studied suicide, not in terms of individual psychological dispositions but he was interested in the totality of suicides in a society. He asserted that every group has a distinct suicidal tendency which is a group phenomenon. In a reformist mode, he shaped his sociology while addressing the key areas of modern industrial sociology.

    Marx offers a class analysis of human society. According to him, all societies are class-divided with two main antagonistic classes: the ruling class which owns the means of production and the class ruled, that works with the means of production. The only exception is the stage of primitive communism and the also what he conceptualized as matured communist society that he expects and projects to be the final stage in the human history. According to Marx, all societies are divided into base and superstructure. The base stands for the basic structure of a society which is held to be the economic structure or organization and superstructure denotes to the legal, cultural, ideological, political or legal face. According to Marx, the political and normative processes of life are decided upon by its material life. it is the human being that works on means of production and gives rise to social relations of production. Marx makes an important assertion that the ruling class that owns the means of production .i.e. the dominant economic class is also the dominant class politically. According to him, the class is the agents of historical transformations. The social change takes place when the classes engage in conflict with one another. Marx refers to Dialectical Materialism as the method of studying social development. Dialectical Materialism attempts to explain progress in terms of contradictory, interacting forces. The concept of dialectics informs us that the class-conflicts are merely a manifest form of a more basic contradiction. The aim of dialectics is to trace real changes and inter- connectedness in the world and to explain things in motion in its interconnection.

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