Marxist View of Culture
Culture means the language, beliefs, shared customs, values, knowledge, skills, roles and norms in a society. It’s the way of life of a social group or society. Culture is socially transmitted. That means it’s passed on through socialisation.
Culture is a general term for our whole way of life and it can be seen as the thing which links the individual to society. It is a group:
* With shared norms and values.
* Who often have a common history, language, traditions and religion.
* Food – this can get a bit stereotyped but has an underlying truth.
* Dress – Shaun hides 1985 showed how Asian people in Leicester used clothes and home furnishings to emphasise their sense of ethnic identity.
* Sanctioned behaviour – simply means the things the culture tells you it’s acceptable to do and clearly links to norms and deviance.
* Sociologists argue that it has a powerful influence on the behaviour of individuals who are socialised into that culture.
Marxism says the individual is the product of economic forces. Karl Marx was one of the founders of sociology. He focused on the effects of capitalism. He thought that the economic system of the society determined the beliefs and values of that society.
Marxists believe that the most important force in society is class conflict. In capitalist societies, workers are employed to produce goods which are sold by their employers at a profit. Only a bit of the profit ends up in the workers wage, most of its kept by the employer. Marx said that if workers were allowed to notice the unfairness of this, they’d revolt. So, to avoid revolution the capitalist system shapes the superstructure to make sure that the workers accept their lot in life. Institutions like the family, education and religion lead individuals into accepting the inequalities or capitalism.
In other words, Marxists think that people are socialised into a culture based on their social class....