Assess The View That Marxism Is Not Relevant Today

1075 words - 5 pages

Assess the view that Marxism is not relevant today

Marxism is a structural theory, seeing society and all its institutions controlled by the bourgeoisie to serve the ruling class interests. Traditional Marxism sees society divided into two classes: the ruling capitalist (bourgeoisie) class who own the means of production, and the working class (proletariat) who are the social relations of production and are exploited to produce profit. Yet, Marxism is a metanarrative which explains everything from a very narrow point of view – but don’t all sociologists? Who’s to say which perspective is correct? It’s useful to different perspectives that we can individually compare and contrast ...view middle of the document...

Marxists argue hat they introduced a distorted version of Marxism and in order for true communism to take place, the government would have to step down, which proved to be nonnegotiable at the time. Today, some would argue that Marxism is irrelevant because we have a Welfare State now and few people live in absolute poverty; there is only relevant poverty between same classed citizens. Marx predicted polarisation between the classes. Moreover, there are growing disparities of wealth in Britain alone in this day and age which suggests there could still be room for Marxist ideologies.
Today, it is accepted by most sociologists that society is no longer divided between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat - the majority of society in the UK are largely middle class. However, Marxists would claim that the bottom of the middle class are proletarianised as far as working class conditions are concerned. They would also argue that the gap between the rich and the poor has rocketed. Conversely, some sociologists would say that Marx focused too much on class inequality and ignored other factors contributing to inequality such as gender and ethnicity. Marx rejected the idea of racism as he believed it was a capitalist device for dividing the working class further, giving them an alternative scapegoat to the ruling class. We now know today that differences between boys, girls, ethnic minorities and class are all contributing factors in the educational attainment gap and Marxist ideas on education are still valid because the working class still underachieve. Nonetheless, there is increased social mobility, with almost half the young population going to university, undermining Marxist ideas on Education.
Marxists, crime is inevitable in a capitalist society because capitalism is criminogenic – it causes crime! Marxists believe wealth is unevenly distributed, leaving some members of society in poverty where crime is their only source of income. However, not all poor people commit crime, despite the pressures of poverty. Marxists would also argue that the alienation experienced by the working class, in their routine jobs that lack creativity or accomplishment, may lead to non-utilitarian crimes such as violence stemming from pure frustration. However, some sociologists would argue that this approach ignores the non – class inequalities such as ethnicity and gender that are...

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