Dialectic perspect soc231 essay q-1.docx

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Zaheer Baber

2. Explain Marx’s dialectical perspective and how it informs his analysis of society and social change The non-dialectic perspective looks at everything as either positive or negative and never looks at what can be in-between. This was the perspective of the positivists and romantic conservatisms during the period of enlightenment. Positivism saw social change as something that is very positive and that society should move forward from what it “is” to what it “ought” to be, it truly embraced social change. Romantic conservatisms, however, were shocked at the changes that took place and seeing tradition being cast aside. They thought that everything had been ruined because of the French revolution and wanted to turn the clock back and go to the past. Hence, the two perspectives are non-dialectical as they only portray the situation as being either positive or negative. Positivists see social change as only positive while the Romantic conservatisms see it as only negative. To help illustrate the idea more thoroughly, another example of a non-dialectic perspective is the idea that it can’t be night and day, it is can only be night or day. On the other hand, the dialectic perspective rejects the dichotomy of a situation being this or that (good or bad). It states that social life is not that simple and that instead, everything is in a constant state of movement. It chooses to look at events as if they are always in the process of becoming, and of ceaseless contradictions. This ongoing process is a quest for self- actualization and of fulfillment. To add on, this perspective does not pin “either/or” at any particular moment. The idea of permanence of change is a dialectical notion which refers to the fact that change always happens.
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