Part of the SAGE Social Thinkers series, this brief and clearly–written book provides a concise introduction to the work, life, and influences of Karl Marx, one of the most revered, reviled, and misunderstood figures in modern history. The book serves as an excellent introduction to the full range of Marx’s major themes—alienation, economics, social class, capitalism, communism, materialism, environmental sustainability—and considers the extent to which they are relevant today. It is ideal for use as a self-contained volume or in conjunction with other sociological theory textbooks.



In the previous chapters, we have utilized Marx’s understanding of class relations and have already discussed the material basis for his definition of class. In particular we have seen that class for Marx is related to amounts of ownership of different productive forces. Classes have objectively divergent interests that cause the economic detriment of exploitation to occur. This exploitation would be impossible if classes were eliminated. This is why Marx advocates a classless society as a desirable solution to these divergent interests and resulting detriments.

This chapter will contain an analytical reconstruction of Marx’s class theory. This section will include a structural presentation of classes, a presentation of the objectivity of classes and the objectivity of class interests and class antagonisms, a presentation of ...

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