Description Marx and Durkheim as Founders of Macro Sociological Theory Marx and Durkheim are considered the founders of the two (2) macro (large-scale) theories of society–conflict theory and structural functionalism. Moreover, these theories are often seen as opposing views on how society works (or what is most important). Based on our assignments and discussions of material during the 1st half of the semester, compare and contrast these two perspectives to include at least (4) out of the five (5) following points (approx. ¾-1 page per sub-topic; 3-5 pages total–double spaced, college standards): How are Marx and Durkheim’s views of human nature different? Using the discussion of Hobbes and Rousseau (or any other social contract theorist), which philosopher do you think each theorists’ views of human nature comes closest to, and why? Following from the above, discuss how each theorist would have viewed differently historical events such as the industrial revolution, mass urbanization, The French Revolution and The Reign of Terror (use AT LEAST one (1) of these events, but as many as you like, in your discussion). Marx and Durkheim both discussed issues of social solidarity, but with very different emphases. Both thought solidarity was important, but for different reasons. Compare and contrast Durkheim’s organic (modern) social solidarity with Marx’ emphasis on the need for working-class solidarity. Marx is considered a materialist, emphasizing economic relations as most consequential; Durkheim stressed the moral order as most important. Highlight these divergent emphases using specific concepts from each theorist (e.g., Marx’ emphasis on class conflict vs. Durkheim’s emphasis on the need for integration and moral regulation). As a materialist, Marx viewed the dominant ideas, values, morals, etc., of any era as (largely) serving the interests of the ruling class. For example, Marx is often quoted as saying religion was the opiate of the masses (i.e., as a distraction from an oppressive reality). Contrast Marx’ view of religion to Durkheim’s emphasis on religion as a source of integration and regulation through the collective affirmation/condemnation of the sacred.
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