Comparing the Big 3 Essay

Submitted By cryspow
Words: 1480
Pages: 6

The sociological views of the three founding fathers; Karl Marx, Max Weber, and Emile Durkheim all assert that various aspects of our lifestyle are fully a product of the society in which we live. Each theorist views the impact of society and its manifestation of our identity in a different way. All three of these men used the Industrial Revolution and capitalism to shape their theories of social identity, especially the identity created by capitalism's division of labor.
Marx developed the materialistic dialectic as his logical reasoning method. It was his way of explaining how the material interests of people shaped social problems and conflict between the classes. The basic idea is that every economic order grows to maximum efficiency while at the same time developing weaknesses or internal contradictions contributing to its decay. It views matter or materials as the sole subject of change as the product of a constant conflict between opposites arising from all events and ideas.
Marx believed that the capitalists and workers have conflicting class interests that are embedded in capitalism. The capitalists are always trying to maximize surplus and control the variable cost and their bottom line. Their interest is seldom the same as the workers. The worker is trying to sell his labor so he can make to buy the things that he or she needs to live and be a member of society. The worker is interested in not being dehumanized or not replaced by the use of machines whereas the capitalist would have no problem using the machines if they cost him less than the workers. In Marx’s Model of Social Change: The Communist Revolution chart it shows the owners of private property, capitalists, have the main concern of maximizing value and controlling the markets. The proletariats or worker’s main concern is survival by being able to get work. Marx showed that these conflicts keep the two main classes never being able to understand each other and will eventually lead to a revolution. I like reading farther into Marx’s Theory of Labor Value. I feel like I understand the conflicts and agree that this sort of capitalist society with those major conflicts could lead to a worker revolution. Makes perfect sense now about all the labor union strikes that are always going on. While my opinion of the unions is not a good one, I think they’re not helpful in a capitalist society, I do believe that workers should have rights but so should the employers. Unions nowadays sometimes seem to be a bit outrageous in their demands, and in a way that situation to me resembles a kind of revolution.
Durkheim is the theorist I like the best. I love his writings about religion and norms. Durkheim’s positivist method concerns its use of statistical data. He believed it was possible to classify the social world in an objective way. Using these classifications it was then possible to count sets of observable social facts and so produce statistics. For example, Durkheim collected data on social facts such as the suicide rate and the membership of different religions. Positivist methodology also entails looking for correlations between different social facts. In his study of suicide, Durkheim found an apparent correlation between a particular religion (Protestantism) and a high suicide rate. Many sociologists have noted a correlation between being working class and a relatively high chance of being convicted of a crime. Durkheim claimed to have discovered laws of human behavior that governed the suicide rate. According to Durkheim, the suicide rate always rose during an economic boom or slump. Positivists and Durkheim, then, believe that laws of human behavior can be discovered by the collection of objective facts about the social world in a statistical form. Durkheim studied deep into religion and its role in society. The primary role of religion according to Durkheim is to bring people together and make them feel like part of a group. Meetings, rituals