Dr. J Sedaitis
September 23, 2013
Marx and Durkheim: Ironically Separated Through Similarities
A multitude of significant comparisons and contrasts can be made when looking at the perspectives and theories of many Sociologists of the history. What seems to link yet at the same time disconnect these ideas and theories are the three levels of analysis in Sociology and the theoretical perspectives that are used and applied to multiple factors in society. Two Sociologists in the history that can clearly convey these comparisons and contrasts are Karl Marx and Emile Durkheim. A simple similarity between the two was that they both had the same analytical perspective. The two viewed situations from a “macro” point of view, in which is defined as looking at the society from a larger perspective. Marx and Durkheim both agree with the fact that society is one larger social institution made up of smaller structures located inside of that institution that govern the way the people behave. Those who look out of the macro perspective are known as materialists and believe that the world shapes the individual. Materialism can be separated into two groups: soft materialism and hard materialism. A simple difference between Marx and Durkheim is that one looks out of the soft materialism viewpoint and Marx looks out of the hard materialism viewpoint. They disagree on the fact that Marx sees this as a detrimental factor while Durkheim sees this as a beneficial factor. Despite the fact that Karl Marx and Emile Durkheim both looked at the world through the macro analytical point of view, they are differentiated by their perspectives of sociology, which has effects on their theories such as the economic and religious aspects.
The differences in the two materialisms each Sociologist believe in have effects on the economic viewpoints and ideas. Marx states that society and the classes that make up society will always be at conflict with one...
Marx, Karl. (1848) Manifesto of the Communist Party in Macionis, J. J., & Benokraitis, N. V. (2009). Seeing ourselves. (Eighth ed.). Boston, MA: Prentice Hall.
Shortell, T. (n.d.). Durkheim 's theory of social class. Retrieved from http://www.brooklynsoc.org/courses/43.1/durkheim.html
Please join StudyMode to read the full document