Apr 27, 2022 Uncategorized

Sociology Intersectionality And Binary System Question


Any Sociological analysis of social class would not be complete without reading Karl Marx. A Conflict theorist that understood social inequality through the lens of class, much of Karl Marx’s work focused on criticizing Capitalism and its elimination in society as an economic system. As you read, let me provide you with a synthesis of his critique:

1) The social conflict that exists Marx determined was between the Bourgeoisie and the Proletariat (which shall be henceforth labeled “owners and workers”) According to Marx, the “owners” owned the means of production ( the tools and machinery to make something along with the access to raw materials to make these goods). The Workers only had their body (What Marx calls labor power) the energy from which people sell in order to get a wage. This difference creates a disconnect between owners and workers in that the owners have control over the workers because they purchase the worker’s labor.

2) Capitalism as an economic system cares more for the value of the product (it what it costs to make and what it can be sold for) rather than the worker, and the conditions they exist in order to make that product. For an illustration of this, think of any time when you have gone to a store. When you are making the decision whether or not to buy a product how often do you think about the worker that made the product and the working conditions (usually she) was in when the product was made. Contrast this with how many times you have thought about the price. This  is what Marx calls the importance of Exchange value over Use Value 

3) According to Marx,  Capitalism carries with it an Internal contradiction of Capital Accumulation. Meaning that because Capitalism is driven by the profit motive (the importance of a steady unbroken stream of revenue) if left unregulated, will eventually lead to the exploitation of the workforce (through the creation of sweatshops and the Exploitation of Consumers by having a 100- 1000% mark up from the cost of certain goods. Many times these goods are still considered cheap even with the mark up so they often go undetected. 

4) Capitalism creates many forms of Alienation for its workers. According to Marx, this is alienation from the product of production (in that that many of the workers that make a product are not paid enough wages for them to purchase the thing they help produce; alienated from the process of production (due to mass production they no longer make the whole product denying them a feeling of satisfaction), alienated from feeling human ( many of the working hours and conditions are inhumane) and they are alienated from other workers ( the banning together of other workers means an increase in bargaining power to have better working conditions and an increase in pay; therefore many corporations don’t encourage or bust up unions as they form).

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