As a scholar, Marx focused on social and political issues during his time. Marxism is a philosophy encompassing economic, social and political issues and emphasizes the struggle between the working class and the capitalists. Marx argued that the power relations between the workers and the capitalists were characteristically exploitative and would lead to a class conflict (CrashCourse, 2017). Marx’s theory depicts every society as having members of different classes because some have more than others. According to Marx, capitalist society has two classes, namely, the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. The bourgeoisie is those who own businesses and can take charge of the means of production. On the other hand, the proletariat is those workers who provide labor that changes raw products into treasured economic goods. In addition, Marx believed that those ordinary workers do not control production like industrial units do not have great power in a capitalist system (Brock & Schmitt, 2021). Those workers can be replaced when high unemployment time comes, and they cannot prevent it. Marx’s ideas contributed to the capitalist system to be viewed as a system containing seeds of destruction. The proletariat’s exploitation and alienation would make them revolt against the bourgeoisie as they will try to take charge of the means of production. The enlightened leaders called the proletariat’s vanguard would lead this revolution because they understand the society’s structure. The revolution would bring the working class together to make them aware of their struggle, thus creating a class consciousness. The revolution would result in class struggles and social class cases because ownership would change from private possession to collective ownership (Brock & Schmitt, 2021). Through the changing of ownership, the first stage would be socialism and then followed by communism. Marx and Engels’ thoughts lead to other theoretical paradigms like communism. Engels’ was a collaborator of Marx who worked closely with him. Communism supports the communal ownership of properties instead of private ownership, thus leading to a classless system. Communism is different from capitalism because it ensures that all the members of the society are equal hence no class struggle. An example of a communist system was applied in China and Cuba, although there has not been a complete elimination of private property and class systems (Brock & Schmitt, 2021). Communism is different from capitalism because it ensures that all the members of the society are equal hence no class struggle (Brock & Schmitt, 2021). Communism discourages class conflict since every member of society does not feel exploited because wealth is communally owned. Reference CrashCourse. (2017). Karl Marx & Conflict Theory: Crash Course Sociology #6 Brock, T., & Schmitt, K. R. (2021). Marxism: Theory, effects, and examples. Retrieved September 16, 2021, from Introduction Welcome to the module on Marianne Weber (note that Weber is pronounced VAY-ber, not WEB-er). As our course L&N text points out, Marianne Weber was married to Max Weber and is largely acknowledged solely as his wife, as someone whose devotion helped get Max’s ideas disseminated after his death. What this story omits is the extent to which Marianne Weber was an active scholar and theorist in her own right, as the materials for this module make clear. In order to understand Marianne Weber’s theories, it is necessary to understand her general orientation to the social world. First, like Max Weber, Marianne Weber is very much concerned with an “idealist social science,” which means that she thought sociology should be a field that seeks to understand the meanings that people have for themselves and for the world around them. Her focus on the importance of meanings and on how meanings are situated within specific socio-historical contexts makes her an important early contributor to “interpretive sociology,” a term that would also include symbolic interactionists. Typically, Max Weber is considered the main classical contributor to this strand of social theoretical thought, but it’s clear that Marianne Weber deserves mention as well. And, of course, let’s not forget the centrality of meanings to Harriet Martineau’s theories. For Marianne Weber, as with Max, the main challenge confronting members of modern societies are the loss of meaning in social life that accompanies the rise of modern, capitalist bureaucracies. Marianne Weber is also a proponent of what is called “socialist feminism (Links to an external site.).” It is important to understand what socialist feminism is in order to understand Marianne Weber’s theories. Also, there will be a number of feminists that we read who will infuse socialist-feminist ideas and arguments into their theories. Socialist feminism is often called “Marxist feminism” and, at times, “materialist feminism.” You’ve already read Karl Marx, so you should be somewhat familiar with Marx’s primary concern with the material (economic) relations that structure social life. The problem, according to this group of feminists, is that Marx does not address the unique plight of women under capitalism. The argument goes that patriarchy (the domination of women by men) long preceded capitalism, but with the emergence of capitalism, patriarchal gender relations are fundamentally altered (think of Engel’s argument in “The Patriarchal Family,” which is considered a classic in socialist feminism) and any theory that does not take gender into account is partial, limited, and even wrong. Thus, where Marx argued that there was one system that structured the world (capitalism), socialist feminists argue that there are two systems at play: capitalism and patriarchy. To use contemporary language, we would say that capitalism and patriarchy intersect to create patterns of domination and privilege in the world. This two-systems approach is sometimes called “dual-systems theory.” Socialist feminism provides an array of powerful insights into how and why the world is organized as it is, and it remains a critical feminist perspective. Consider, for example, the socialist feminist argument that with the rise of industrial capitalism, paid labor is removed from the home and now occurs in factories. This process is a gendered process, as ultimately, it is men who are removed from the home. To be sure, their labor is exploited, as Marx and Engels document and theorize quite well. But in a capitalist economy, men’s ability to earn an income benefits them vis-a-vis women. And to the extent that women work for pay within or outside the home, the capitalist economy devalues women’s work so that women earn less than men (you’ve heard this, right?!). Thus, in order for women to survive in a capitalist economy, they must tie themselves with a man. For their part, women offer exclusive sexual access. Thus, we see a pattern emerge within capitalist patriarchy wherein women exchange sexual access for economic security. This helps explain why women’s virginity and sexuality is valued and policed in a way that men’s is not. If the pattern of women exchanging sexual access for economic security sounds like prostitution, you’re correct. Socialist feminists, including Marianne Weber, contend that capitalist patriarchy warps human relationships, including (hetero)sexual relationships, into a form that is less than humane. To use Karl Marx’s language, heterosexual relations are alienated and alienating, given that they’re premised on conditions of exploitation and inequality. This inequality extends beyond sexist double-standards into the valuation of women’s unpaid labor in the home. Socialist feminist explanations provide a powerful account of why women do the disproportionate amount of unpaid housework; they are forced to because they are in a disempowered economic situation relative to their husbands. Marianne Weber is an excellent starting point for exploring socialist feminism. Like many socialist feminists, she pays a lot of attention to women’s work, something Karl Marx and lots and lots of Marxists ignore entirely. Some Marxists argue that women’s labor isn’t important to Marxist theory because women’s labor is not productive labor, meaning that it doesn’t contribute to the production of capital and thus is irrelevant to theories of class conflict. In response, socialist feminists point out that ignoring women’s unpaid work is a huge omission from Marx’s theories. After all, women are productive in at least two ways. First, women do virtually all of the work to transform exchange values (e.g., the groceries they buy from the market) into use values (the food that families, including workers, consume). Women’s work therefore sustains the working class, keeping workers coming back to work day after day. Second, women literally reproduce the working class; it is women who give birth to proletariat babies and raise them until the age until they can work for pay (if men) or not (if women). Thus, in at least two ways, women’s unpaid work is productive and an essential element to class relations under capitalism. At the same time, women’s unpaid work commitments continue to disadvantage them in the paid labor market, which is set up in terms of men’s interests–that is, capitalist workplaces generally assume that workers have someone at home (a wife) who will feed and care for the worker as well as the children of the worker. Given her attention to women’s work and experiences, Marianne Weber argued that women’s social location produced unique insights about the social world and thus a unique “women-centered sociology.” There’s a deeper analytical point here. Marianne Weber is arguing that women offer a unique “standpoint” from which to view and explain the social world. There’s an entire group of feminists who advocate this perspective; one if which, Dorothy Smith, we’ll read later in the semester. Today, this general approach is known as “standpoint feminism,” and it is important to acknowledge Marianne Weber’s contribution to this perspective. Note that she doesn’t argue that women and men are fundamentally or essentially different due to some natural, inherent causes. Instead, women’s standpoint is the outgrowth of women’s social location and attendant experiences. It is this line of thinking that allows her to criticize Georg Simmel’s argument that men produce “objective culture” and women produce “personal culture.” Instead, she challenges Simmel and argues that women’s lives provide a bridge between objective and personal culture because women produce immediate daily life. Weber’s ideas here are quite similar to the ideas we’ll read from Dorothy Smith (from the 1980s). There is a final, related element in Marianne Weber’s work that is important to mention. Your textbook editors point out that Marianne Weber is influenced by “erotic feminism.” Erotic feminism is concerned with egalitarian relations in social life, including within erotic relations. In fact, heterosexual monogamy is disadvantageous to women (see discussion above about economic inequalities that compel women into exploitative heterosexual relations with men). Erotic feminists argued that one strategy to challenge what we might today call heteropatriarchy was to dissociate power from erotic practices. This means unlinking power and economic relationships from erotic practices and promoting egalitarianism; thus, strategies that challenge heterosexual monogamy, that is, free and open sexual relationships outside of heterosexual marriages, including same-sex erotic relationships. Although Marianne Weber didn’t subscribe to all of the tenets of erotic feminism, she did come to see heterosexual marriage as paradigmatic of patriarchal distortions of human life. She thought that true intimacy required equality and capitalist-patriarchal arrangements thwarted relationships from reaching their full potential. As you work through this week’s materials, keep in mind the materials we covered in Week 1’s module, specifically how theorists’ social location shapes 1) their ideas/theories and 2) the reception of those ideas. Also, we’ll be reading different theorists all semester long. As you read those theorists, it’s important that you do so strategically. I recommend taking notes as you read and structuring those notes along the following points: 1. What aspects of the social world does the theori…Do you similar assignment and would want someone to complete it for you? Click on the ORDER NOW option to get instant services at

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