Marxist sociology

Marxist sociology

approaches within academic sociology which utilize MARXISM. These grew in importance particularly in the 1960s in Europe and the US as a reaction to the perceived dominance of STRUCTURAL-FUNCTIONALISM and the political conservatism of established sociology In the 20th century, the intellectual development of Marxism had taken place mainly outside academic institutions and was of limited direct influence in the social sciences. In the 1960s, there was wider questioning of the consensus models of society and of the presumed evolutionary nature of social change. Marxist sociology developed not just around conflict models of society and revolutionary models of social change (see CONFLICT THEORY), but also around methodological challenges.

The assumed VALUE NEUTRALITY of orthodox social science was seen to be undermined by its privileged position within society and its practitioners’ roles as advisors to large organizations and governments: ‘The professional eyes of the sociologists are on the down people, and the professional palm of the sociologist is stretched towards the up people’ (Nicolaus, 1972).

For some critics, the logic of this argument meant that Marxist sociology was a contradiction in terms: the academic pursuit of abstract knowledge divorced from the class struggle could only hinder socialist political ends. Others argued that Marxist academics had a political role through counteracting ‘bourgeois ideology’ within academic institutions and influencing future generations of students. The predominant approach, however, has been to utilize Marxist theory to develop a more adequate social science and to make that knowledge available to political groups.

During the 1970s and 80s, Marxist work had a wide influence within, first, sociology and historical studies, and then the other social sciences and literary studies. Often the debates were taken up in an eclectic fashion, so that the widespread use of Marxian concepts and ideas no longer necessarily reflected a political commitment to socialism or any identification of the user as a Marxist. See also AUSTRO-MARXISM, ANDERSON.

Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
References in periodicals archive ?
The Artistic strike, Milligan notes in an awkward phrasing that summons up separations of the struggles of the past and the commentary of the present, "became an opportunity to fight the system and act out the Marxist sociology of the time." Acting out having taken place, belief that "a revolution was around the corner disappeared." New Leftists were graduating into "regular" jobs.
However, it really was Thompson's original unease about universalistic and schematic variants of Marxist sociology that gave some of us in India --I mean myself and my colleagues in the Indian project of Subaltern Studies --the spiritual and intellectual courage we needed to stage a full-blooded rebellion against what we saw as stultifying aspects of much that passed in India as Marxist history.
In proposing a closer relationship between Marxism and Cultural Studies, the editors duly acknowledge that neither approach has taken sport seriously or consistently enough--paradoxically, the existing branch-line of the Marxist sociology of sport disappeared in the turn to culture which marked the adoption of Gramsci's ideas, while in that child of the turn, Cultural Studies, work in the past decade has finally begun to address sport.
In the spring of this year MR coeditor John Bellamy Foster was elected Chair Elect of the Marxist Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association.
Kirk attracts adulation because he is a working-class academic whose knowledge of Marxist sociology allows him to assure other academics of his same class that the most recent historical thesis--the era of bourgeois domination, during which members of the working class were made to feel socially inferior--is at an end.
The former Marxist sociology professor became a right-wing columnist and political consultant to the Christian Democrats before starting his own party from which he was later sacked.
Nicos Mouzelis, in a review of David Lockwood's Solidarity and Schism: "The Problem of Disorder" in Durkheimian and Marxist Sociology (London: Oxford University Press, 1992), emphasizes that it is concepts of social organization and conflict and methods of social research that make sociology valuable.
If, at the end of this volume, the author goes off to Aix-en-Provence to study political science with the intention of entering the diplomatic service, rather than go to Yugoslavia to study anticolonialist history or Marxist sociology as some of his chums were to do, it is because the aspirations of his class won out in the end.
This is not to claim that such relationships cannot be conceived, for their conception forms the very basis of Marxist sociology and history.
We find ourselves at this stage returning to the linkage between ownership and the mode of production of media culture, where Marxist sociology has more to offer than elitist analysis.
Contrary to the standard over-generalized representations of the "socialism of the Second International," there was remarkably little fatalism in McKay's "evolutionary" and "revolutionary" Marxist sociology.
In effect this means that due obeisance is made to such things as Marxist sociology, Freudian analysis, advanced linguistics, structuralism, and feminism.