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Which founder of sociology believed societies changed due to class struggle?

Which founder of sociology believed societies changed due to class struggle?


a. Emile Comte
b. Karl Marx
c. Plato
d. Herbert Spencer

The Correct Answer Is:

  • b. Karl Marx

Karl Marx: The Correct Answer

The correct answer is b. “Karl Marx.” Karl Marx, one of the founders of sociology, believed that societies changed primarily due to class struggle. His theories, collectively known as Marxism, form the basis of the conflict theory perspective in sociology.

Marx’s ideas were instrumental in shaping our understanding of how society develops, transforms, and evolves. Let’s explore why “Karl Marx” is the correct answer and why the other options are not as suitable in detail.

Why “Karl Marx” is the Correct Answer:

1. Class Struggle as a Central Theme:

Karl Marx’s sociological theories are centered on the concept of class struggle. He argued that societies are characterized by the conflict between social classes, particularly the bourgeoisie (capitalist class) and the proletariat (working class). This class struggle is the driving force behind societal change.

2. Historical Materialism:

Marx introduced the idea of historical materialism, which posits that the structure of a society is determined by its economic base. According to Marx, the economic system shapes the relationships between classes, and changes in the economic structure lead to social changes. Class struggle arises from the inherent conflicts of an economic system based on private ownership and profit.

3. Dialectical Materialism:

Marx’s approach to understanding societal change is rooted in dialectical materialism, a philosophical framework that explores the dynamic, contradictory, and evolving nature of reality. According to Marx, class struggle is a dialectical process, where opposing forces clash, leading to change and progress. This dialectical materialism underlies his perspective on how societies develop over time.

4. Role of Capitalism:

Marx believed that capitalism, with its inherent exploitation of the working class, was a key driver of class struggle. He argued that capitalism, through its profit-driven mechanisms, creates social inequality and engenders conflict between the owning class and the laboring class. This conflict is seen as the catalyst for social transformation.

5. Vision of Communism:

Marx’s ultimate goal was the establishment of a classless society, which he referred to as communism. He believed that the overthrow of the capitalist system through proletarian revolution would lead to a society where class distinctions and class struggle would no longer exist. This vision of communism was built on the idea that societal change would resolve the fundamental contradictions of capitalism.

Why the Other Options Are Not Correct:

a. Emile Comte:

Auguste Comte, often referred to as the father of sociology, was indeed a significant figure in the development of sociology. However, Comte’s work primarily focused on the establishment of a systematic and scientific methodology for sociology, which he termed “positivism.”

While he contributed to the foundations of sociology, his work did not revolve around the concept of class struggle or its role in societal change, making him an unsuitable choice for this question.

c. Plato:

Plato was a philosopher in ancient Greece and a significant figure in the history of philosophy. He made notable contributions to the fields of ethics, politics, and metaphysics, but his work predates the development of sociology by over two millennia.

Sociology, as a distinct discipline, emerged in the 19th century, well after Plato’s time. His philosophical works, including “The Republic,” did not address class struggle as a central theme in the context of sociology.

d. Herbert Spencer:

Herbert Spencer was a prominent sociologist and philosopher in the 19th century. While he made contributions to early sociological thought, he is better known for his work on social evolution and the theory of social Darwinism.

Spencer’s ideas focused on the notion of societies evolving through natural selection and adaptation, rather than class struggle. He did not hold class struggle as a primary driver of social change in the way that Karl Marx did.

In conclusion, Karl Marx is the correct answer because his theories on class struggle and its role in societal change are foundational to sociology, particularly within the conflict theory perspective.

Marx’s work has had a profound influence on our understanding of how societies transform and develop, with class struggle as a central driving force of change. The other options—Emile Comte, Plato, and Herbert Spencer—were influential in their respective fields but did not emphasize class struggle as a central theme in sociological theory and analysis.

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