Introducing Western Sociologists

Introducing Western Sociologists


Highlight the main features of Marx’s theory of social change.

Main Features of Marx’s Theory of Social Change :

1. Karl Marx was of the view that individuals make their own history. In the course of whole human history, people have continuously made efforts to dominate and control the nature to make it better serve their own purposes. While transforming nature, they have also been transforming themselves.

2. Karl Marx believed that human history is the history of class struggle. However, the parties involved in class struggle differ in different stages of human history depending upon the strange mode of production of that times. But the antagonism between the exploiters and those who are exploited is the distinctive feature of all stages of human history.

3. Human being, first priority according to Karl Marx is to sustain them economically. For this, they develop their own implements and techniques in order to cotrol the material resources of nature. By doing this they are in a position to meet their basic requirements such as food, cloth and shelter, essential for their survival.

4. Because it is not possible for any one person to struggle against nature, they (human beings or various persons) create specific types of social organistions depending upon the means of production which usually differ from society to society.

5. In simple words, we can argue that an individuals can perform different forms of works, but aas the society system grows and develops, it becomes impossible for an individual to perform different functions. In such developed societies, division of labour becomes a necessity which leads to the emergence of the system of stratification. For Karl Marx, human beings control over nature forms the material basis of society and other social institutions are secondary.

6. Karl Marx differentiate between the economic bases of social change, which he calls infrastructure and the superstructure. The infrastructure chiefly consists of forces and relations of production while the superstructure consist of legal and political institutions. To bring any change, it is necessary to change the infrastructure consisting of forces and relations of production. These changes will automatically bring changes in the superstructure.

7. Karl Marx explained his view of social change by incorporating the dialectical nature of reality. The process of dialectical works at three different levels namely thesis, antithesis and synthesis.

8. The term, dialectics in simple terms, means struggle of opposite powers, which may characterised by conflict which is inherent in the very process of production.

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