Marx And Durkheim Analysis

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According to Indergraard (2007), industrialization is “the process by which an economy shifts from an agricultural to a manufacturing base during a period of sustained change and growth, eventually creating a higher standard of living”. Within sociology, the three founding fathers, particularly Karl Marx and Émile Durkheim, were interested in studying what the causes of industrialization and the consequences of it on the development of society. This essay will compare the ways in which Marx and Durkheim shared similar ideas about industrialisation within society as well as contrast the aspects of their theories which have different ideological roots and conclusions. The essay with then go on to conclude that whilst there were some key differences…show more content…
Marx, through his communist manifesto, believed that “modern industry has converted the little workshop of the patriarchal master into the great factory of the industrial capitalist”, taking society from one epoch of social stratification and forced labour to Capitalism, under which the inequality between the Bourgeoisie and the Proletariat grew and became more evident. On the other hand, Durkheim saw industrialisation as a mainly positive occurrence which, along with the division of labour, provided the necessary institutions are in place to maintain it, as it causes society to change and develop and thus “civilization develops because it cannot fail to develop” (Durkheim: 1933: 337). Yet despite differences in their views of the effect, both Marx and Durkheim used the process of industrialisation to explain how society progresses and how society is held together or broken, with Durkheim, in particular, looking at just how much the structure of society changes as the division of labour progresses (Morrison:…show more content…
Durkheim identified this change through the division of labour which he believed would lead to anomie -the breakdown of morality in society- (Barbaris and Jones: 2011). Durkheim (1893: 276) argued that “the division of labour unites at the same time that it opposes” because though the concept of a division of labour rids society of simple mechanic solidarity, thus opposing the simple way of life that was found in a pre-industrialised society, by having industrialisation, it allows for the build-up of a new way of collective conscience. In a similar vein, according to his manifesto (Marxists.org), Marx also believed in the division of labour, thinking that industrialization made the dichotomy between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie much more apparent. Like Durkheim’s concept of anomie and the breakdown of norms, Marx argued that the division of labour encourages alienation leading to a feeling of disassociation among the labourers with the product of their labour, due to it all being monopolised by the bourgeoisie. Yet, unlike Durkheim, Marx thought that the division of labour would promote less autonomy and minimise their collective conscience, therefore leading them to think they need the support of their employer rather than their
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