Assignment: Marxism, Capitalism and the Family
1. Write a brief description of Marx’s view of capitalism.
2. Define the terms Bourgeoisie and Proletariat.
3. What is the relationship between the Bourgeoisie and the Proletariat according to Marx.?
4. Define the terms Economic Base [or Infrastructure] and Superstructure.
5. What is the general relationship between the Economic Base and the Superstructure according to Marx?
6. What are the institutions of the Superstructure?
7. What do you understand by the term “ruling class ideology”?
8. Give two possible ideas which might be included in the ruling class ideology.
9. Outline Engels’ theory of the family.
10. Give 4 possible ways in which the existence of the family may help to perpetuate the capitalist system.
11. How might the Marxist theory of the family be criticised from [a] a Functionalist perspective; [b] a Feminist perspective; [c] a Social Action perspective
12. List two major criticisms of the overall Marxist theory of capitalist society..
13. How would Marxists defend Marxism from these criticisms?
14. Where 0= totally irrelevant and 10= totally relevant use a number between 1 and 10 to summarise your view on the relevance of Marxist theory to the analysis of contemporary Britain.
15. Give reasons for your choice of number. You may like to treat this question as a topic for discussion.