With reference to examples of their published works assess respectively the work of Marx, Durkheim and Weber. Write one thousand words on each. In the final section, critically assess which of the three theorists has the most contemporary relevance.
The fathers of sociology are known as Karl Marx, Emilen Durkheim and Karl Weber they made profound contributions towards study of sociology. This essay will explore the key theoretical concepts for each theorist beginning with Marx thoughts on capitalism, class struggle, materialism, then followed by Weber’s ……………………………… and Finally Durkheim ideas on ………………. Further, a critical evaluation will be carried out in order to establish which of the three theories has more significance in today’s contemporary society.
Marx writings where influenced by Hegel’s theoretical concepts as he further developed his own ideas Marx began to criticize Hegel’s interpretations of society and history. Indeed, their interest remained commonly theoretical in social and economic region. However, Marx rejected Hegel’s idealist philosophy because Marx wanted to approach the studying of society and history through his own concept of materialism that involved thinking outside the boundaries of idealist philosophy (Morrison, 2006).
Marx’s understanding of history was through his concept of ‘materialism’ the reason why Marx introduced this theoretical perspective because he wanted to overcome complications brought by idealist philosophy, the perception of society and history (Morrison, 2006) Marx’s idea of history is in relation to production which involves figuring out the relationships of people and their relation to each other and through this association they are socialized because they have the ability to produce. Therefore, the production relationship is not a ‘mechanical natural state of affairs’ but indeed a ‘social condition’ if humans can turn wood, stones and land from ‘products of nature’ that can be converted into ‘productive forces’ only a real human being that thinks, willingly such as man can perform and take his needs and interests into consideration (Bottomore, 1981, p127). However, this being the reason why Marx wanted to call this his new concept because it was opposite to Hegel’s ‘naturalist or humanist’ as Hegel was attempting to replace the progress of the world spirit to the development of real human beings (Bottomore, 1981, p 128)
There were three main reason to why Marx dedicated his time to study and reconstruct the political economy firstly in the works of Smith and Ricardo this was seen as a ‘scientific discipline’ that explained the economic structures of society. Secondly, the ‘vulgar economists’ political economy’ was converted into an ideology, a regret for the current social order. Finally, Marx’s mission was to build a safe theoretical basis for ‘political action’ that involved the working class in a capitalist society and from hear on wards he lay a...