Comparing And Contrasting Sociological Theorists Max Weber, Emile Durkheim And Karl Marx

1711 words - 7 pages

Emile Durkheim, Karl Marx, and Max Weber are all important characters to be studied in the field of Sociology. Each one of these Sociological theorists, help in the separation of Sociology into its own field of study. The works of these three theorists is very complex and can be considered hard to understand but their intentions were not. They have their similarities along with just as many of their differences.
The first theorist to consider is Karl Marx. Marx has a uniqueness all of his own. His attention was normally directed towards capitalism in society. He studied the basis of inequality under capitalism. (Ritzer, 2004) When you look into Marx’s work on the dialectical method you can see one of the differences between his studies and Durkheim and Weber. It says, “ The dialectical thinker believes that it is not only impossible to keep values out of the study of the social world but also undesirable because to do so would produce a dispassionate, inhumane sociology that has little to offer to people in search of answers to the problems they confront.” (Ritzer, pg 46) I believe this is showing the depth of Marx because he is basically telling us that without your values when you study sociology you lose the passion of it.
Marx also focused on the alienation of individuals from society due to capitalism. He saw it as the people were separate from their labor. In older times, people had a trade that they were good at and it described them but after capitalism came into play then their labor just became a job and was no longer personal. Neither Durkheim nor Weber believed this to be so. This is also a difference between them. ( Ritzer, 2004) Marx also tended to go more into depth about the capital and commodities where the other two did not. He thought there was a basic formula to capital. This formula was C-M-C. (Kivisto) While most theorists have different ideas that made them well known, the next theorist had a lot of influence on the field of Sociology.
Emile Durkheim is considered to be the Father of Sociology. In contrast to Karl Marx’s theory of Sociology, Durkheim believed that society is made up of a bunch of social facts and can be studied empirically. Durkheim did put a lot of emphasis on the idea of social facts. This made him stand apart from all other theorists and their ideas. (Ritzer 2004) This is what Durkheim said of social facts.
“ A social fact is every way of acting, fixed or not, capable of exercising on the individual an external constraint; or again, every way of acting which is general throughout a given society, while at the same time existing in its own right independent of its individual manifestations. (Durkheim,1895/1982;13) (Ritzer, pg 76)
Along with his study on social facts, he also focused some on the Division of Labor. Many people during this time believed that the social order of things was in danger due to the selfishness of society as a whole. While Marx believed that...

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