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Page last edited: 30/09/2012


Assignment on Marxism

  1. Write a brief description of Marx's view of capitalism.
  2. Explain the meaning of the terms Historical Idealism and Historical Materialism. [Tricky ...the question does fit here but can be left till later]
  3. Explain the meaning of the term "Economic Determinism [Tricky--etc.]
  4. Define the following terms: means of production, forces of production; social relations of production; mode of production.
  5. Which different modes of production does Marx mention in his theories?
  6. Define the terms Bourgeoisie and Proletariat.
  7. What is the relationship between the Bourgeoisie and the Proletariat according to Marx?
  8. What does Marx say about other social classes in his theories?
  9. Define Alienation
  10. Define the terms Economic Base  [or Infrastructure] and Superstructure
  11. What are the main institutions of the superstructure?
  12. Define the term "the State".
  13. What are the main institutions of the British State?
  14. Where the general relationships between the economic base and the superstructure according to Marx?
  15. If we describe the Bourgeoisie as  a ruling class what does this actually mean?
  16. Is the Bourgeoisie necessarily a ruling class?
  17. How, in Marxist theory, might the Bourgeoisie be able to exercise decisive influence over state policies?
  18. What do you understand by the term "ruling class ideology" ?
  19. Give four possible ideas, which, according to Marxists might be included within a ruling class ideology?
  20. What do you understand by the term "false class consciousness" ?
  21. Why, according to Marxists, might individuals be subject to false class consciousness?
  22. How might the operation of the socialisation process operating in families, the education system and the mass media contribute to the existence of false class consciousness according to Marxists?
  23. What do you understand by the term Immiseration or pauperisation of the proletariat?
  24. What do you understand by the tem "class polarisation"?
  25. What do you understand by the terms "Class in itself" and "Class for itself"?
  26. According to Marx what will be the effects of the transition from class in itself to class for itself combined with pauperisation of the proletariat and class polarisation?
  27. The answer is "Revolution"/
  28. Give three reasons why Marxist -style revolutions have not occurred in Western Capitalist societies.
  29. Give three further criticisms of the Marxist theory
  30. When 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 the contemporary UK.