Marx

Topics: Sociology, Marxism, Social class Pages: 4 (1098 words) Published: April 22, 2013
__________________________________________________________________________ Question one: Critically analyse the relationship between human action and social structure in Marx’s work. “Nature and our own biological possibilities, is the raw material which we work on and transform in order to produce what we need to survive”. (Jones; 2003) Karl Marx’s work illustrates how and why there is a strong interlinked relationship between human action and social structure. Ollman (1976) explains Marx’s observation of this relationship as; “Marx’s views on a large scale social structure were shaped by his dialectical approach, especially his tendency to focus on social relations”. Additionally, Ritzer (1992) stated that “Marx thought of social structures as being composed by a large number of continuing social relationships”. Marx’s approach to this relationship derives from that fact that Marx is a firm believer of the idea of Materialism versus Idealism. The theory behind Idealism is that human action brings about social structure, which our idea’s is what shapes our human nature, and from that what man defines as real, is real. Where as what Marx stated about Materialism; “It is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but their social existence that determines their consciousness”. Here Marx is explaining the relationship of human nature and social structure through the idea of Materialism, because Materialism is the idea that we are born into already existing social structure, accepting that conscious. What Marx is saying, for example, the idea of gender; we innately accept the idea of what masculinity and femininity and react on it. Policies, laws and norms that are implemented into a society, we will continue to respond to it. However, in critic to Karl Marx’s approach to this relationship, Hegel’s disagreement with Marx’s Materialism and his point of Idealism seems to be a more practical notion. If consciousness determines existence, and if...
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