Karl Marx's Legacy In Social Theory In The Modern World System

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Karl Marx’s legacy in social theory does not lie in his predictions of future utopias but it rather lies in his analyses of the contradictions, as well as the workings, of capitalism. Within contemporary sociology, this tradition is very much alive in world-systems analysis, it is a perspective that has been developed by Immanuel Wallerstein in the 1970’s. The Modern World-Systems (MWS) theory is a macroscale and multidisciplinary approach to world history, as well as, social change. The MWS theory emphasizes the world system, as opposed to nation states, as the primary unit of social analysis, but it is not the sole unit of social analysis. According to Wallerstein, the modern nation state lies in a broad political, economic and legal framework which he addresses as a “world system”. Wallerstein believes that just as individual behaviour is incomprehensible without a reference to the sociocultural system that the individual, or individuals, is a part of, so too individual societies or nation states cannot be comprehended without making reference to the world-system in which they are fixed. Modern nation states are all a part of the world-system of capitalism, and Wallerstein seeks to understand this world-system. According to Immanuel Wallerstein’s MWS theory, which can also be known as the world-systems analysis or the world-systems perspective, Global poverty and inequality are not natural and is not inevitable. On the contrary, the current problems of inequality and
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