Evaluating Marx’s “Importance to Sociology”


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Essay #: 053379
Total text length is 7,878 characters (approximately 5.4 pages).

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The beginning:
Evaluating Marx’s Importance to Sociology
On what grounds can one choose the sociologist who has contributed the most to sociology? There are several ways of answering the question, each of which refines one’s understanding of what sociology is, and why it is important. In choosing Marx as the sociologist who has contributed most to the discipline, I realized that I considered the most important criterion to be the paradigm of sociology—the set of critical concepts that this sociologist left behind. Of course, sociologists do more than generate critical concepts; they use them to make predictions. In Marx’s case, there is now a wide gap between his concepts themselves and the predictions he made with them, with the most...
The end:
..... Marx’s concrete predictions is a kind of disingenuous avoidance of Marx’s conceptual vocabulary, which is more powerful than the specific uses to which Marx put it. In retrospect, Marx’s predictions about what would happen to society were precisely wrong, but his description of society as it exists was precisely right. In that fact lies Marx’s enduring genius, and his invaluable contribution to sociology.
Cohen, Mitchell and Nicole Fermon (Eds.). Princeton Readings in 
Political Thought. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996.
Marx, Karl and Engels, Friedrich. The Communist Manifesto. 
London: Penguin Classics, 2002.
Paul, Jeffrey and Miller, Fred. Problems of Market Liberalism. 
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998.