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Karl Marx And Durkheim

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Karl Marx and Emile Durkheim are considered the founding fathers of sociology and both had profound influence on the development of sociology. However, some may say that they differ dearly in their views about society. Although there are differences in outlooks between the two, one thing noticeable is Marx and Durkheim shared the same concern over society and its development. They were both, in particular concerned with the rise of the modern system of division of labour and the evolution of market society taking place in the domain of modern capitalism. Both approached these developments by introducing a theory of their own to shed light on the effects that modern capitalism had on solidarity and on society’s ability to reproduce itself. More so, to understand and solve the problems arose as the societies in which they lived moved from a pre-industrial to an industrial state. For Marx, one of the serious problems arose in this was what he termed alienation. On the other, for Durkheim it was what he called anomie. The purpose of this essay is to examine the underlying differences of these two notions and in hope that it may help us to better understand the different visions of society developed by these two great social thinkers. Firstly, we start off with Marx’s idea of alienation. Secondly, what anomie means to Durkheim. Then a comparison will be done on the two concepts, evaluating the similarities and differences between the two. Lastly, we will finally come to conclude how the concept of alienation differs from the concept of anomie.

In Marx’s early works, he spoke of the alienation of man from his own essence. He then went on discussing alienation as the experience of isolation resulting from powerlessness when he wrote ...

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...appily or have a productive live unless guided by a set of invisible norms and regulations, a invisible hand of society.

In closing, both Marx and Durkheim were extraordinary thinkers and theorist of their time. Both their theories have provided a better understanding of our society by examining our society and the crucial elements within it at a deeper level. Alienation then, is the breakdown of the interconnectedness in society imposed by the structure of society that is, to Marx an important part of life. Well, at least in an ideal sense. Anomie is defined as a state reached when society is marked by unchecked economic progress. Although Marx and Durkheim approached the issue of modern society in different analytic manner, there is one thing that is undisputed, it has greatly impacted sociology today and maintain a level of truth as well as value for the future.
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