What is the role of class consciousness in Marx’s thoughts and does the concept contain any present day relevance?
Marx developed a key theory called Marxism which is designed to promote the good in society. It is a response to modernity which is modern belief that societies can be transformed for the better. He argues for the working class and witnesses their exploitation. He defined the working class as individuals who sell their labour for wages. These people also do not own the means of production he believed that they were the reason for the wealth in society. He declared that the working class physically build buildings and bridges, craft furniture, grow food, and nurse children, but do not own land, or factories. According to Marx, only the overthrow of false consciousness will make the dominated, exploited class aware of their true, collective circumstances. Only then will they become conscious of their class identity and the need to take action as a class if they become too free. While Marx predicted the growing of class consciousness, evidence indeed shows the opposite happening. Goldthorpe et Als 1960’s study of wealthy workers in Luton showed the working-class traditionalists were already in decline. Roberts (2001) puts forward the idea that most workers believe they are still working class but they are disorganised, devalued and disempowered. A few sociologists believe that the seeds of the working class are still here. Devine (1992) found that 1980’s Luton workers, of who were conscious of inequality and injustice, still looked to unions and the labour party to tackle such issues, but did not expect anything to be achieved. Blackburn and Mann (1975) argue that the mass media and ideology of the dominant class undermine class consciousness. The working class experience exploitation and subordination at work which can encourage class consciousness. Blackburn and Mann also state that working class show inconsistencies and contradictions in their...
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