According to Marx, what is the fundamental structure of inequality in society?

The answers to the following questions should be written in essay format.  The essay should use Times New Roman, standard, 12 point font, be single-spaced, and have 1-inch margins.  You should save your essay as a Microsoft Word document (.doc or .docx).  You will upload your document to the Dropbox on our eLearn page for submission.


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You must answer ALL FIVE of the following questions:


  1. According to Marx, what is the fundamental structure of inequality in society? How is inequality perpetuated? After laying out the basics of Marx’s work, compare Marx’s approach to that of Durkheim’s approach to social structure.  Remember, for Durkheim, modern societies also are structured systems of inequality.  Reflect on the two approaches to inequality – which approach do you think more accurately explains the culture of inequality in the United States? Why? (about  1 ½ – 2 pages, worth 20 points)
  2. Relying on Marx’s theoretical ideas about class conflict, explain how the social structure of society ultimately results in large scale, massive, revolutionary social change. After laying out the your explanation, discuss the potential benefits and the potential costs that might result from revolutionary restructuring of society. (about 2 pages, worth 25 points)
  3. Marx talked about the fetishism of commodities. Discuss the prevalence of the fetishism of commodities in contemporary society. Provide some examples of commodity fetishism in your own life and in the lives of your family and friends. (about 1 page, worth 10 points)
  4. Compare and contrast Weber’s discussion of class, status, and party to Marx’s discussion of class. How do their views result in distinct explanations of social change? What do each of their views suggest about the exercise of power in the United States?  (about  1 ½ – 2 pages, worth 20 points)
  5. Using Tennessee State University as a concrete example, discuss the specific characteristics of modern bureaucracy, as discussed by Weber. Then, point out at least two advantages of this bureaucratic system and at least two potential disadvantages of such a system. (about 1 page, worth 10 points)

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