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Soc 233 Sept 19

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SOC 233
Kara Somerville

SOC 233 Sept. 19, 2011 Q – Is Marxism dead?  Does not go to explain modern class-based inequalities. Q – Are Marx’s theories and predictions still useful?  See below. 1 . Marxist View of Race/Ethnicity  Racism was not prominent in Marx’s writings.  Class, as a social category, can explain racial inequalities.  Racial exploitation is merely one aspect of the problem of the proletarianization of labour.  Racial antagonism is political-class conflict.  eg) Robert Miles – Black people represent a racialized fragment of the working class; low wages, worse working conditions, longer hours. Note – Focus is not on race, but on class position within capitalist economy which works hand-in-hand. 2 . Marxism and Gender  The role/status of women is attributable to capitalism.  Capitalism gives rise to economic inequality, dependence, political confusion and ultimately unhealthy social relations between men and women.  Capitalism is the root of women’s oppression in the current social context.  Marxist Feminism – Marx’s category of “production” leaves out many traditional female activities; category of “reproduction.” Note – Women’s subordination is a result of capitalism. Unpaid, reproductive work of women “benefits” capitalism; women rejuvenate men at home by creating a haven. 3 . Marxist Views of Crime  Society is divided by power, wealth and prestige.  The law is the mechanism by which one social class (i.e., ruling class), keeps all the other classes in a disadvantaged position.  Deviance is partly the product of unequal power relations and inequality.  Crime and deviance can only be understood in terms of capitalism and class struggle. Note – Capitalism creates inequality which leads to deviance. Increased greed and profits lead people to commit crimes. * Print slide regarding differences between Marx and Durkheim. Functionalism Durkheim (1858 – 1917)  French academic who helped establish sociology as a social science discipline.  Religion played an important role in his theorizing.  Influenced by the political and social unrest in France.  Studied social life in modern societies.  Argues that we need to look at other social factors to explain social
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