A Comparison of Marxist and Functionalist Views on Society

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A Comparison of Marxist and Functionalist Views on Society

There is a division between functionalists and Marxists over the functions of the society.

Marxism was founded by Karl Marx. Marx saw society as divided into two major parts, the economic base otherwise known as the infrastructure and the super-structure. Functionalists see society as a set of parts which work together to form a whole. Functionalism is also called a consensus theory.

Marxism and functionalism are similar in that they see that the way society is structured as an important part in determining the way people have relationships and behave between themselves. This is known as structural perspective. Both functionalists and Marxists believe that people are portrayed as creature within the social system.

Functionalists believe that society operates to the benefit of everybody. They stress that societies continue to exist because a lot of the time there is consensus between various aspects of society. They believe that family, education, govern...

Comparing and contrasting the functionalist perspective with that of the conflict theory Marxist and functionalism are similar in that they see that the way society is structured as an important part in determining the way people have relationships and behave between themselves. This is known as structural perspective. Both functionalists and Marxists believe that people are portrayed as creature within the social system. The view of both conflict perspective and functionalist perspective as it refers to the family. The family is universal because it full fills the following essential functions for society Sexual – controls sexuality, provides stability for adults Reproductive – provides new members of society.

Economic – family provides for its members.
Educational – family socialises the young into societies norms and values. While Parsons (1902-79) says “there are two basic...
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