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Karl Marx and Emile Durkheimcitizens - Essay Example

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Karl Marx and Emile Durkheim were both observers of their societies, having many ideas as to how societies evolve and how citizens fit into their surroundings. According to Marx, "People value objects that they can use, and most things people can use are produced through human labor" (Tucker)…
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Karl Marx and Emile Durkheimcitizens
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Karl Marx and Emile Durkheimcitizens

He believes that the individual understands and fits into their society through "Their understanding of religious origin; they are social affairs and the product of collective thought" (Giddens). While the two philosophers had differing opinions on how a society is formed, they are similar in that they both studied how the individual fits into and reacts to their societies.
Marx's theory of "fetishism of commodities" first introduced in his main work Capital, focuses on the capitalist society's obsession with goods and its devaluing of labor. He believes, "Commodities are seen as having power over the people who produce them" (Tucker). Therefore members in a capitalist society begin to function in a cycle of laboring for goods. They strive for more and more commodities and work harder and harder to get them, losing focus on the true value of the commodities. This kind of society loses the relationship between the producer and the consumer because the producer only sees the commodity according to the work that he put in to produce it while the consumer values the commodity at face value since they are unaware of what kind of labor went into producing it. Marx's theory reveals a society that is formed out of and run by commodities. ... Read More
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