Comparing and Contrasting Sociological Theorists Max Weber, Emile Durkheim and Karl Marx

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Emile Durkheim, Karl Marx, and Max Weber are all important characters to be studied in the field of Sociology. Each one of these Sociological theorists, help in the separation of Sociology into its own field of study. The works of these three theorists is very complex and can be considered hard to understand but their intentions were not. They have their similarities along with just as many of their differences. The first theorist to consider is Karl Marx. Marx has a uniqueness all of his own. His attention was normally directed towards capitalism in society. He studied the basis of inequality under capitalism. (Ritzer, 2004) When you look into Marx’s work on the dialectical method you can see one of the differences between his studies and Durkheim and Weber. It says, “ The dialectical thinker believes that it is not only impossible to keep values out of the study of the social world but also undesirable because to do so would produce a dispassionate, inhumane sociology that has little to offer to people in search of answers to the problems they confront.” (Ritzer, pg 46) I believe this is showing the depth of Marx because he is basically telling us that without your values when you study sociology you lose the passion of it. Marx also focused on the alienation of individuals from society due to capitalism. He saw it as the people were separate from their labor. In older times, people had a trade that they were good at and it described them but after capitalism came into play then their labor just became a job and was no longer personal. Neither Durkheim nor Weber believed this to be so. This is also a difference between them. ( Ritzer, 2004) Marx also tended to go more into depth about the capital and co... ... middle of paper ... ...h all of their different ideas and concepts, it is somewhat difficult to say the one thing that they all believed held society together. I do believe that the importance of religion did make it one of the better choices. Each theorist studied religion and each had their own thoughts on the subject. With their studies, they each one show something that religion is doing to hold society together. This is why I say that Max Weber, Emile Durkheim and Karl Marx all see religion as the ‘glue’ that holds together society. References Cline, Austin. Retrieved on March 2010. Karl Marx’s Analysis of Religion. (http://atheism.about.com/bio/Austin-Cline-5577.htm.). Kivisto, Peter. 2008. Social Theory: Roots and Branches. 3rd ed. Oxford, NY. Oxford University Press Ritzer, George. 2008. Sociological Theory. 7th ed. New York. McGraw-Hill.

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