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Marxist/ Neo-Marxist Feminism and Functionalism in Historical and Contemporary Understanding of Societies - Essay Example

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Marxist/Neo-Marxist Feminism and Functionalism in Historical and Contemporary Understanding of Societies Introduction As people strive to achieve social order, they formulate rules of conduct to guide their societies, as well as control individual behaviors…
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Marxist/ Neo-Marxist Feminism and Functionalism in Historical and Contemporary Understanding of Societies
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Download file to see previous pages Following this line of thinking, it can be said that people and their governing rules influence each other and contribute to the overall culture and tradition of the society. To illustrate this idea in a more specific example, this paper focuses on family rules and values in relation to two theoretical traditions pertaining to society: Marxist/Neo-Marxist Feminism and Functionalism. These sets of social theories explain the relevance of social structures in attaining social order, especially in the family. Along with the discussion of concepts and arguments of the two social theories, this paper will also discuss the differences and similarities of those two theories. Marxism/Neo-Marxist Feminism Theoretical Foundations The concept of Marxism originates from the philosophical works of Karl Marx, a German philosopher in the 1950s. The bulk of his work is influenced by the social, political, and economic traditions of Germany and other European countries during the 1950s (Hughes, Sharrock, & Martin, 2003, p.22). As Marx was immersed in European cultures such as in Paris and Brussels, he realized that the plight of workers, especially women and children, were unfavorable as they have to work at longer hours with lesser pay. The situation of the workers influenced the philosophies of Marx in the context of social structure and economic differences. ...
Seeing the adverse economic and employment situation of workers, he proposed that social structure is influenced by the differences in social classes, which are determined by economic status. Key Concepts on Society The main concepts of Karl Marx’s social theory are Capitalism and its oppressive effects on the people’s lives. Capitalism creates political and economic hierarchy in the sense that capitalists freely exploit the resources of the workers (Allan, 2011, pp.47-49). Additionally, the value of workers would, in the long run, decrease as capitalists strive to increase their profits either by increasing the workers’ work hours or maintaining the length of work hours while increasing the productivity. Thus, the growing capitalism and industrialisation created the increasing gap between the capitalists and workers. Marx is also interested in the unexpected effects of capitalism, economic bipolarisation. Historical and Contemporary Concepts on Society and Family Economic bipolarisation, as a Marxist concept, is significant both in the historical and contemporary perspectives on society and family in the sense that it determines the roles of individuals. In capitalism, bipolarisation refers to the division of society according to two extremes in economic status, the bourgeoisie (owners) and proletariat (workers) (Allan, 2011, p.54). Feudalism is the concrete example of this concept. In feudalism, land ownership follows a hierarchy: the king being the ultimate land owner and the serfs, the tenants. The workers were the ones who tended the land, but it is the owners that acquired the fruits of their labors. For Marx, as class struggles ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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