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Compare and Contrast: Marx and Durkheim, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 832

Essay

Abstract

This work in writing examines the theory of Marx and Durkheim and compare and contrasts them explaining how the two theorists would explain he events of 9/11.

Introduction

The objective of this work is to compare and contrast the work of Marx and Durkheim and explain how these two theorists would explain the events of 9/11. The views held by Marx and Durkheim were different in nature and each of these individuals would have examined the events of 9/11 through different lens and would have explained these events somewhat differently.

Marx and Durkheim

Marx attempted to explain the nature of the economies of capitalist societies in the 18th and 19th centuries and maintained “the economic deficiencies and social injustices inherent to capitalism would ultimately lead to the breakdown of capitalist societies.” (Appelrouth and Edies, 2008) Marx is reported as having been “an activist, a revolutionary committed to the overthrow of capitalism.” (Appelrouth and Edies, 2008)

Marx noted the concentration of wealth inherent in Capitalism and the greedy seeking of profit by business combined with corporate practices in accounting and the relationship that exists between government economic policy and the interests of the capitalist class as well as the alienation experiences in the workplace” all inherent to Capitalism. Marx held that the struggle of the poorer class is the “catalyst for social change and the prime mover of history.” (Appelrouth and Edies, 2008)

Marx held that this is because “any mode of production based on private property bears the seeds of its own destruction by igniting ongoing economic conflicts that inevitably will sweep away existing social arrangements and give birth to new classes of oppressors and the oppressed.” (Appelrouth and Edies, 2008) Marx is reported to have viewed history “as unfolding through evolutionary stages in economic organization and understood the central role of government to be the protecting of the privilege of the wealthy through upholding the right to private property.” (Appelrouth and Edies, 2008)

Durkheim stated that  when society experiences suffering “it feels the need to find someone whom it can hold responsible for its sickness, on whom it can avenge its misfortunes and those against who public opinion already discriminates are naturally designated for this role.” (Appelrough and Edies, 2008) Durkheim sough to explain what it is that hold societies and social groups in cohesion and how these groups are held together. Durkheim’s studies were focused on such as suicide and crime as well as aboriginal religious totems and symbols as well as how modern industrial societies are held together in absence of individuals actually knowing one another and in such variation of experience and positioning on a social level.

Durkheim sought to “delineate, both theoretically and methodologically, how sociology was different from existing schools of philosophy and history.” (Appelrough and Edies, 2008) Durkheim’s passion is reported to have been for dispassionate, scientific research” and he is reported to have held “a lifelong preoccupation with orderly, continuous social change toward greater social justice.” (Appelrough and Edies, 2008)

View of Durkheim and Marx of 9/11 Events

The views that might be held by Durkheim and Marx of the events of 9/11 can be proposed based upon their views held during their lifetime of the events that occurred during those eras. For example, Marx would view the events of 9/11 as being of the nature that had finally resulted in the beginning of the demise of capitalism, an event that he had predicted and believed would eventually occur. Durkheim would comment on the cohesion between Americans in a society in which so many existed and in which so few, although in a cohesive group following 9/11, barely knew one another.

Durkheim would have taken a purely scientific view of these events while Marx would have examined the capitalist influence that served as a driver for the events perpetrated on the American public. Marx would have held that the events of 9/11 were driven by the lower classes attempting to gain ground against the upper and privileged classes of individuals. He would have held that it was only natural that such an event would occur in the American business environment in what was a Capitalist dominated society. Durkheim would note that the adhesion present in the American people following 9/11 was not formed after the event but was in fact, already formed prior to the event through history and tradition. Marx would have viewed the deaths of so many who worked in the Twin Towers as being the death of ‘cogs’ in the machinery of society or the workers who enabled the elite to be rich.

Summary and Conclusion

Durkheim and Marx viewed the sociological aspect of humankind through very different lens and were of differing schools of thought. This has been examined in this work in writing and the perspective of each of these individuals projected onto the events that occurred on September 11, 2001, when terrorist attacked New York City and killed so many individuals.

Bibliography

Appelrouth, S. and Edies, LD (2008) Classical and Contemporary Sociological Theory: Texts and Meanings. Pine Forge Press. 2008. Retrieved from: http://books.google.com/books?id=EUQT47IqVdgC&dq=Classical+and+Contemporary+Sociological+Theory+by+Appelrouth+and+Edies.&source=gbs_navlinks_s

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