How Karl Marx Accounts for the Industrialization of Society
Sociology has been classified as the last in a long line of emerging
scientific disciplines which people have developed and explored in
order to make sense of their world. Early theories such as the
positivist approach of Comte, the functionalist views and the conflict
perspectives of Karl Marx have offered a view of why human beings
behave as they do and how they fit together in society.
In the eighteenth and nineteenth century European societies
changes due to the industrial revolution. These changes included a
radical change in the economy, and many changes to aspects of
society. Although it can be argued that these changes were important
for society, these changes led to mass confusion. People begun to
feel insecure about the future of social order and thus many early
sociologists felt compelled to explain and understand these changes.
One of the many early sociologists who attempted to explain how the
industrialisation of society occurred was Karl Marx.
Karl Marx was born in 1818 and died in 1883. During his life Marx
wrote and contributed too many writings. Although the roots of these
writings lay in the eighteenth century, which was a time of major
social and political change that stemmed form the revolution of 1789
in France, they have had their greatest influence in the political
sphere and possibly the intellectual world in the twentieth century.
Marx’s writings are a true outcome of the times that he was writing in
and thus focus on the economy, and class struggle. Due to this Marx’s
account of the industrial revolution mainly focuses on these aspects.
A detailed account of Marx’s account of the industrial revolution will
now be detailed, with criticisms highlighted and a brief conclusion
Marx came up with “The materialist theory”. The materialist theory of
history starts from the proposition that human beings are creatures of
need, and hence that the material side of human life physical needs
and economic action to satisfy them is primary and basic. Marx states
in his materialist conception of history sited in (Karl Marx, selected
writings), that men in society enter into fixed relations that they
are indispensable from and have no choice over. These relations of
production are parallel to a stage of development of their material
powers of production. Moreover these relations of production
constitute the economic structure; which is the foundation of society
which legal and political superstructures are formed on. Due to this
Marx states that the mode of production in the material life
determines society. In other words, it is not the ideas or indeed
values of human beings that cause social change, it is prompted
primarily by economic influences. Thus the...