Karl Marx, like Gilman and Du Bois was interested in seeing society change. Karl Marx was interested in seeing a classless society in which capitalism was abolished. Karl Marx saw the world with a materialist view and the first “to develop the structural method, without which there could be no social theory...”(Lemert 2007; pp 49). Through this, Marx was able to to structurally analyze the world he was living in; a world in capitalism was beginning to flourish. He saw society on a macro level, which meant he saw society as a whole. Since Marx longed for a classless society, he first analyzed the current situation he was in. He concluded that capitalism was inherently exploitive since it alienates workers from their labor and the goods they produce (the workers have no say in their workplace and do not own what they produce). His materialist view of the world is apparent in the Communist Manifesto in which he says that class conflict is what makes history, that is, real events instead of ideas like the idealist view.
Charlotte Gilman was also interested in social change, but she concentrated on sexism. Unlike Marx, she used standpoint theory as her method (hers being called feminist standpoint theory),and a “symbolic interactionist emphasis on how these gender differences are reinforced and institutionalized through the process of socialization/ social production” (Powerpoint on Gilman). With this standpoint theory she was able to see the situation of women through a micro and macro level. This meant that like Marx, she was able to see the structures that oppress women, from the economic system (capitalism) to the micro level such as family. Gilman believed that the traditional family was inherently exploitive because it kept women dependent on women, which meant they did not have freedom. She developed the word patriarchy, which is used to describe our world which is male is the authority figure. Also unlike Marx...
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