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Description Prompt:   Marx/Engels (M/E) and Durkheim (D) recognized the many significant social p ...


Description Prompt:   Marx/Engels (M/E) and Durkheim (D) recognized the many significant social problems that emerged in the transition from agricultural to modern capitalist industrialized societies.  These theorists, however, draw very different conclusions about the stability of industrial society and the future of capitalism.  In this essay, briefly explain how each set of theorists understands the fundamental social problem created by modern capitalist industrialization.  How does each set of theorists hope we will remedy this fundamental problem? Do these theoretical insights still have contemporary relevance?  Choose one concrete, contemporary social problem for theoretical analysis.  How might Marx/Engels or Durkheim explain this problem?  Whose insights do you think best explain your chosen problem?  Why? First Hint:  In sociology, we expect essays to have a major organizing argument.  Begin by addressing the social disruptions of capitalist industrialization.  Then, briefly address the last question, i.e., make the case that the analytical tools of Marx/Engels or Durkheim still help us understand concrete problems of social inequality (M/E) or social solidarity (D). For example, an issue like homelessness could be analyzed from either perspective. The work/pay conditions of Amazon warehouse workers would be a good example of the ongoing relevance of M/E in explaining the dynamics of capitalist exploitation.  Issues of race/gender discrimination could be addressed by D as failures of social integration. Second Hint:  When explaining the insights of that one theorist might shed on your chosen problem, briefly explain where the other theorist falls short.  In other words, the case for X being more insightful than Y is stronger when the shortcomings of Y are briefly pointed out.

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