Chose one of sociology’s founding “figures” and critically assess his or her particular contribution.
There are many of sociology's founding figures that have extremely well-built ideas, practices and studies that I could explore, but one renowned philosopher stands out amongst the crowd, and that person is named Karl Marx (1818-1883). In this essay I aim to explore and critically assess his ideas, theories, and studies in his contribution to sociology, and if his ideas, theories and studies are useful to this contribution to sociology.
Sociology began in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in Western Europe. Around this time, the political and economic systems in Europe were changing. Things like the Monarchy, (which was the rule of Kings and Queens) was disappearing, while capitalism was growing rapidly. Different societies began contacting eachother, and the economic markets began developing. Things were most definitely changing, and there was now room for new ideas to bloom. Something that had an enormous impact on the development of sociology was the Enlightenment. ''The Enlightenment was characterised by faith in the ability of human reason to solve society's problems.'' (Chapter 1, Andersen and Taylor , 2008). During the Enlightenment, ideas began to establish themselves and eventually effected sociological studies. Positivism is based on the idea that it is possible to observe social life and establish intricate knowledge about how it works. It says that sociology should only be observed with senses yet the theories of sociology should be observed in a methogical way. Although it does not effect modern sociology, as it does not take into account the fact that some methods do not allow the ideas to be observed and so the facts given by this ''method'' were misleading. (Ashley Crossman). Another idea that began circulating in the Enlightenment was called Humanitarianism. This was the concern for overall human worth. It began to be more equainted with Christian ideals, such as God's love for all people. Humanitarianism in Religion shunned the idea of politics and did not care about the female rights although it had quite a large following from the female population. It was purely active to prevent human prejudice towards children and to stop other humans suffering, such as the poor. (Hackett, 1995)
Marxism regards the social, political, and economic theory that regards history evolving. Marx claimed to have discovered a “progressive pattern controlling human evolution'', which would eventually have society reach a point in the future where it would be a communist classless society. Marx said that people would no longer be oppressed, and the oppression of society would disappear when humans had reached the final stage of human evolution. Since Marx believed that ''law was an instrument of class domination'' he recognised that if society was ''classless'', the laws as a whole would have to be abolished. He thought that law...