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2 weeks until your exam!. Tuesday 26 th January 9am Sports Hall. Structural theories. Marxism. Recap of functionalism - starter. Blockbusters Try to write a paragraph summarising the key aspects of the functionalist theory from last lesson. Marxism Vs Functionalism.

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2 weeks until your exam

2 weeks until your exam!

Tuesday 26th January


Sports Hall

recap of functionalism starter
Recap of functionalism - starter


Try to write a paragraph summarising the key aspects of the functionalist theory from last lesson.

marxism vs functionalism
Marxism Vs Functionalism

What they have in common


  • Both view society as a structure
  • Society shapes the behaviour and ideas of individuals
  • Conflict of interests – Marxists reject the view that society if harmonious – see it as based on conflict of interests between social classes
  • Marxists don’t see society as stable and stress the possibility of sudden, revolutionary change.
marx s ideas
Marx’s ideas


Like Durkheim, he saw the harm being done by industrial society and the promise of progress to a better world that is held.

Thought it was possible to understand society scientifically – scientific socialism

not just a theorist
Not just a theorist

Marx was not just a theorist, he was also a revolutionary socialist.

“Philosophers have merely interpreted the world; the point, however, is to change it.”

After his death , Marx’s ideas came to form the basis of communism – a political movement that was influential in shaping the modern world.

marx s ideas1
Marx’s ideas

Read through the section of text you are allocated

Write a twitter summary of that section

Historical materialism

Class society & exploitation


Class consciousness



The state, revolution & communism

criticisms of marx
Criticisms of Marx


Simplistic view of inequality – only sees class as important

Feminists would argue gender more important source of inequality

Economic determinism

The view that economic factors are the sole cause of everything in society – including social change

Fails to recognise that people have free will

the two marxisms
The two Marxisms
  • The absence of revolutions in the West has led many Marxists to reject the economic determinism of the base-superstructure model.
  • Instead, they have tried to answer 2 questions:
    • Why capitalism has persisted
    • How it might be overthrown.
2 broad approaches to these questions
2 broad approaches to these questions
  • Humanistic or critical Marxism
    • This has some similarities with action theories and interpretive sociology
  • Scientific or structuralist Marxism
    • A structural approach, has similarities with positivist sociology.
  • Read through the pages on Gramsci and those on Althusser.
  • Then prepare for the essay:
    • Critically examine Marxist perspectives on today’s society. 33 marks
advice for the essay
Advice for the essay

The question carries 15 AO1 marks (knowledge and understanding) and 18 AO2 marks (interpretation, application, analysis and evaluation).

Begin your answer with an account of Marx’s key ideas. Make sure you include materialism, class conflict, alienation, exploitation, false consciousness, ideology, the state and revolution.

A good focus would be Marx’s theory of change, so explain how Marx sees capitalism being replaced by communism

more advice
More advice

The question asks about Marxist perspectives

Look at developments since Marx.

Examine the 2 Marxisms – humanist and structuralist.

Outline their key concepts

You can contrast them in terms of their view of how change occurs.

You should also evaluate by assessing the strength of some of the criticisms of Marxism.


Write the introduction/conclusion for this essay

(5 mins)


From Revision Pack

Suicide 21 mark essay question – due Thursday

Power & control 21 mark essay question – due Friday

Use the examiners advice from your text books to help you

sociology revision workshops
Sociology Revision Workshops

Tuesday 12-1- Study Centre

Thursday lunch times – F5

Come and see me to make an appointment if you are not free at these times