Link to What's New ThisWeek Quals Review on Durkheim and Marx

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California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: April 11, 2004
Latest Update: April 11, 2004

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takata@uwp.edu

Index of Topics on Site Comparison of Durkheim and Marx

Site Copyright: Jeanne Curran and Susan R. Takata and Individual Authors, April 2004.
"Fair use" encouraged.

This review started with Mary Conner's question, since I didn't have your study questions:

Added April 2, 2004. Have question on Durkheim and Marx from Mary Conner.

Question: how to compare Durkheim's and Marx concerns with society. how does each view inequality differently?

jeanne's quick answer: Mary, Thanks for reminding me. I need more time to hunt for the theory stuff I did last semester. But a quick answer to your question is that Durkheim saw social stratification and inequality as natural results of society, and he wasn't to worried about them. He was just interested in figuring out social indicators, the better to understand society. Marx, on the other hand, was terribly frustrated by inequality and what he considered exploitation of those who have not by those who have. Marx looked beyond the figures and social indicators to the real people whom he believed should rise up in revolution against the exploitations.

Does this help? jeanne

Traditionally, we consider issues of inequality in stratification courses. Dominguez Hills doesn't offer a special course in that area, so we might want to take a look at some materials from universities that do offer such courses:

Social Inequality Seminar Prof. Dr. Steffen Mau, International University, Bremen. Backup.

Social Inequality (SOC341) State Univesrity of New York, at Albany. Sociology Department. . . Backup

"Classical theories of stratification
  1. Marx: focus on oppression, class struggle, class is based on mode of production (feudalism, capitalism)
  2. Weber: multidimensional theory: class, status, party; increasing rationalization and bureaucratization of modern society
  3. Durkheim: division of labor, most qualified fill positions; specialization and interdependence in advanced societies
  4. Pareto: elite theorist; emphasis on power; all societies have small elite ruling large nonelite; circulation of elites

"Modern Explanations of Social Inequality

  • functional theory of stratification: Davis and Moore; necessity of differential rewards for positions based on scarcity of personnel and functional importance (influenced esp. Durkheim)
  • social reproduction theory (Marx): Bourdieu; MacLeod; Bowles and Gintis; cultural capital; schools and families reproduce inequality across generations
  • Lenski's evolutionary theory (power determines distribution of surplus)
  • labor market theories (how individuals are located in labor markets and earnings)"
  • More later. jeanne

    Sociosite on Inequality and Class A huge resource if you wish to go more deeply into the subject. Probably overwhelming if you're studying for quals. jeanne