Classical Sociological Theory
September 24, 2012
6:00 – 8:00
The Germany Ideology (1845-46)
Premise: There is a pattern to human history, pay attention to how society is organized to meet
Marx critiquing peers who believe ideas shape how society works. No; how we meet fundamental needs
In order to survive, we have to have food, shelter etc
Meeting these needs is essential to human life. To understand history, one needs to look at how society is
organized to meet these fundamental needs.
In a capitalist society, you have no choice but to sell your labour to meet your fundamental needs; forced
to be a proletarian.As a proletarian you will; feel separated from work, the product of work, and from
The fundamental social category is class.
The implication for studying society: how society produces is fundamental
If I want to eat, I need to sell my labour for a lack of options
The bourgeoisie has created immense material wealth which should give more time for humans to reach
potential, but it has not.
The mode of production of material life determines the general character of the social, political and
spiritual processes of life...”
> Karl Marx.AContribution to the Critique of Political Economy (1854)
Division of labour, example fromAdam Smith, The Wealth of Nations (1776)
Advanced division of labour > split up complicated process into many simple tasks. Rather than one
highly-trained specialist, many unskilled workers make the object. This process leads to a large increase
Division of labour, consequences according to Marx.
Marx agrees advanced division of labour increased production power.
Consequences: work becomes alienating, cannot see oneself in the end product of work, alienated from other worker, creates greater gaps between rich & poor.
Hunter gatherers: simple division of labour > gender division.
The state emerges with more complex division of labour to uphold the system of exploitation
> activists much destroy the state; so a classless society can emerge
As long as society is divided into classes, alienation will always exist
Communism: people can rotate through different tasks at their wish. IE. Not the same repetitive task in a
4 dimensions of alienation *
Marx's Views on Community
What community IS NOT
Village life > positive elements to village life but many negative; superstition, death, violence.
Family > Tocqueville a fan of the family. Marx disparages the family, particularly the bourgeoisie family.
Rough equality for proletarian, in bourgeoisie the wife is essentially a prostitute who sells her body for a
What community is:
Working class solidarity (which means that proletarians if necessary are willing to set aside their partial
interests for the sake of the common, long-term intere