Marxism and functionalism both envision our society from different perspectives

Marxism and functionalism both envision our society from different perspectives. In order to understand society, it is essential that we evaluate these theories.
Karl Marx is popular for his conflict hypothesis. His hypothesis envisioned the general public as being based upon the differences among two classes. His hypothesis accentuates the imbalances among the two classes. In his perspective the decision class abuse their position with a specific end goal to control the lower class. There are three key factors to look at while assessing his hypothesis, for example conflict, class and capitalism. According to Marx the contrasts between the decision class and the lower class shows a wide class division. It is in his view that the interests of the decision class were secured and advanced. The resulting social differences caused struggle in the public eye, Capitalism additionally caused irreconcilable differences between the classes. The requirement for the decision class to make profits is in conflict with the requirement for the lower class to earn enough to live and survive. The decision class turned out to be to a great degree affluent while the lower class worked long hours for very little pay.
Overall Marx was against inequalities and assumed that everyone should have ascend to conditions and equal pay. It was in his view that a communist approach would be viable and would benefit the whole society. Marxism obviously has its pros and cons for example, a con of his communism theory would be that there would be no opportunities to own or run a business independently as everything would be run by the government. A pro of Marxism would be that everybody has an equivalent position and opportunity with no prevailing sexual orientation. This implies each individual would have the capacity to gain admittance to the most critical things they need paying little mind to whatever they do.
‘Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people’ (ThoughtCo, 2018) Marxists perspective with respect to religion is that it is a weapon, which was utilized by the decision class to control the lower class and to empower the decision class to control social request by influencing social imbalances to appear just as they were Gods decision. As indicated by Marx religion was fabricated by the decision class to occupy the lower class from carrying on and to legitimize the places of both the decision class and the lower class by making the lower-class trust that it was divine beings’ decision that they were enduring and that they were poor. In light of that, Marxists believed that religion occupied the lower class from the torment that they persisted by giving them bogus expectations of an eternity to look forward too. This as a result halted the lower class from endeavouring to change social request, as they trusted that their destiny couldn’t be changed as it was Gods will. In general Marxists believes that religion was utilized to elevate social disparity and to dull the agony of the misery and to persuade the lower class to acknowledge their destiny throughout everyday life. He likewise considered religion to be being an instrument of abuse.

Functionalist Emile Durkheim regularly utilized a living organism to help clarify the functionalist’s vision of society. It was as he would see it that every segment of society was significant as far as society’s general wellbeing. With the end goal for society to survive, all segments must cooperate, as every part is as essential as the other, as they all satisfy distinctively different objectives. Functionalist Talcott Parsons shared the same vision of society as Durkheim, as he also viewed society as a structural system that is required in order for society to survive. It was in his opinion that society would need to fulfil four basic requirements in order for society to continue to grow such as, adjustment, objective fulfilment, integration and latency. With that in mind it was Parsons belief that society benefits most people by ensuring social order objectives are met.
Overall there are many advantages and disadvantages to the functionalist’s approach to society, for example they tend to view religion in a beneficial way and they disregard the negative effects that religion may have in society, this is a disadvantage as they neglect the fact that religion can cause a lot of conflict. For example, conflict with other known religions, as beliefs may differ. An advantage to their theory would be that their approach to society, illustrates how social establishments can function at two unique levels, both satisfying the necessities of the people and the entire society at the same time.
‘If religion has given birth to all that is essential in society, it is because the idea of society is the soul of religion’ Functionalists view religion as a unique element to society. Functionalists believe religion plays a very critical role in society, by providing general morals that people could follow. They trust that without religion, society wouldn’t function, and it would cause conflict, confusion and disorder within society. Durkheim for example believed that religion provided three functions such as, social control- like the 10 commandments, they provide a set of general guidelines that all members must abide to, so everybody has similar ethics and qualities. Social attachment- which help maintain the social adessive that ensures all members are united, which helps keep society cooperating as one, through their common convictions and, to likewise help maintain compliance and consistence in the control of society. Functionalist additionally considered religion to be a method for dealing with stress, to enable individuals to cope with a loss of a friend or family member or companion, by giving a burial service and support to enable family and companions to lament together and enable them to adapt.
To conclude both theories illustrate their contrasting perspectives on society. Marxist view society as being bias, in favour of the ruling class which justifies inequalities, whereas the functionalist view society as being beneficial by providing institutions that benefit the people and the society as a whole.


ThoughtCo. (2018). Everything You Need to Know About Functionalist Theory. online Available at: Accessed 3 Oct. 2018.

Thompson, K. (2018). Functionalism – An Introduction ~ ReviseSociology. online ReviseSociology. Available at: Accessed 3 Oct. 2018.

Thompson, K. (2018). The Marxist Perspective on Society ~ ReviseSociology. online ReviseSociology. Available at: Accessed 3 Oct. 2018. (2018). 10 Marxism Strengths and Weaknesses | Flow Psychology. online Available at: Accessed 3 Oct. 2018.
ThoughtCo. (2018). Karl Marx on Religion: The Opiate of the Masses?. online Available at: Accessed 2 Oct. 2018.

Thompson, K. (2018). The Functionalist Perspective on Religion: Summary Revision Notes ~ ReviseSociology. online ReviseSociology. Available at: Accessed 2 Oct. 2018.