Marxism is a structural conflict theory as outlined originally by Karl Marx (1818-1883). Marx called the society we live in a capitalist society, and divided society into two basic classes. The ruling class or bourgeoisie as he called them, which was at the time of Marx the wealthy factory owners and land owners, and the working class which he called the proletariat. They were the factory workers. A capitalist society is one where the means of production are controlled by the ruling class with the aim of making money for themselves by exploiting the labours of the working class. The wage given to the workers in return the for their work is not proportionate to the work they do and the profits made by the ruling class.
The working class don't challenge the capitalist society they are living in because, as Marxists say, the ruling class control all sources of socialisation, from family to media. These social institutions tell the workers that the way they live and the norms and values they out across are normal and natural. 'The mode of production of material life conditions the general processes of social, political and intellectual life. It is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but their social existence that determines their consciousness', (Marx, as cited in Investigating Culture and Identity, p.56) The working class is brainwashed by the ideology – ruling class ideas and a way of controlling society through ideas– of the wealthy and are encouraged to think that if they work as hard as they can for little money they can get...
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...essful. In support of the feminists there is a saying that goes, 'Behind every great man, there stands a great woman'.
Although both Marxist and Feminist views differ on several things, there are some similarities. Marxist do not like the family because it adds to the capitalist society, Marxist feminists also believe the same, with the added component of consciousness of oppression, and feminists do not like the family because of the oppression of the women within the family.
Abbott, A. & Sapsford, R (1987) Women And Social Class, 1st Edition, Great Britain, Biddles Ltd.
Mitchell, J (1971) Woman's Estate, 1st Edition, Great Britain, C. Nicholls & Company Ltd.
Taylor, P. (1997) Investigating Culture And Diversity, 1st Edition, Great Britain, Scotprint.
Worsley, P. (1970) Introducing Sociology, 1st Edition, Great Britain, Hazell Watson &Viney Ltd.
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