Karl Marx, also a philosopher was popularly known for his theories that best explained society, its social structure, as well as the social relationships. Karl Marx placed so much emphasis on the economic structure and how it influenced the rest of the social structure from a materialistic point of view. Human societies progress through a dialectic of class struggle, this means that the three aspects that make up the dialectic come into play, which are the thesis, antithesis and the synthesis (Avineri, 1980: 66-69). As a result of these, Marx suggests that in order for change to come about, a class struggle has to first take place. That is, the struggle between the proletariat and the capitalist class, the class that controls the means of production. Karl Marx also believed that this king of class stratification would be replaced by a more equal society known as communism. Therefore this theory rests on the premise that says, “the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.” CRITICALLY ANALYSE THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN HUMAN ACTION AND SOCIAL STRUCTURE IN MARX’S WORK. As has been mentioned earlier in the introduction, Marx was a materialist. Materialism means believing in the objective realities and not the subjective that idealists believe in (Roodt, 2013: lecture notes). Marx therefore believed that social structures as well as social relationships restricted or enhanced one’s life chances. Materialism provides a simple and economic perspective, which appears most compatible with our experience and observations. Moreover, materialism seems, and this may be its most attractive element, the only metaphysics most consistent with scientific knowledge and attitude. Materialists include social structures such as norms, schooling systems, class, physical conditions or ones environment etc. Thus coming to the conclusion that human action is shaped and determined by the social structures available, for example class...
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