Karl Marx (1818–1883)

Karl Heinrich Marx (1818–1883) was a German philosopher, political economist, and journalist. Marx explored the idea that society and history are shaped by economic conflict, leading to the development of Marxism. Specifically, Marx contended that class conflict between the bourgeoisie (owners of the means of production) and proletariat (wage earners) shaped society. Marx’s ideas along with those of Émile Durkheim (1858–1917) and Max Weber (1864–1920) played a significant role in the development and growth of the social sciences. Two of his most notable works are The Communist Manifesto (1848) written with Friedrich Engels which systematically outlined of the political doctrine of communism and Das Capital (1867) which critiqued capitalism.

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Related Quotations:

  • “Marx stressed that within society there is a continuous clash between the owners of the means of production and the workers, who have no choice but to sell their labor to others” (Kendall 2006:37).

Further Information:

  • Marx, Karl, and Friedrich Engels. “Theses on Feuerbach.”
  • Marx, Karl, and Friedrich Engels. 1946. The German Ideology.
    • Note: (German: Die Deutsche Ideologie)
  • Marx, Karl, and Friedrich Engels. 1848. The Communist Manifesto.
    • Note: Originally titled Manifesto of the Communist Party (German: Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei).
  • Marx, Karl. 1867. Das Kapital.
    • Note: Full title in German: Das Kapital, Kritik der politischen Ökonomie; English Translation: Capital: Critique of Political Economy
  • McLellan, David. 1975. Karl Marx. New York: Penguin.

Related Terms: 


Works Consulted

Abercrombie, Nicholas, Stephen Hill, and Bryan Turner. 2006. The Penguin Dictionary of Sociology. 5th ed. London: Penguin.

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. 5th ed. 2011. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Bruce, Steve, and Steven Yearley. 2006. The SAGE Dictionary of Sociology. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

Jary, David, and Julia Jary. 2000. Collins Dictionary of Sociology. 3rd ed. Glasgow, Scotland: HarperCollins.

Macmillan. (N.d.) Macmillan Dictionary. (https://www.macmillandictionary.com/).

Merriam-Webster. (N.d.) Merriam-Webster Dictionary. (http://www.merriam-webster.com/).

Oxford University Press. (N.d.) Oxford Dictionaries. (https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/).

Princeton University. 2010. WordNet. (https://wordnet.princeton.edu/).

Random House Webster’s College Dictionary. 1997. New York: Random House.

Scott, John, and Gordon Marshall. 2005. A Dictionary of Sociology. New York: Oxford University Press.

Turner, Bryan S., ed. 2006. The Cambridge Dictionary of Sociology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation. (https://en.wikipedia.org/).

Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wiktionary, The Free Dictionary. Wikimedia Foundation. (http://en.wiktionary.org).


How to Cite the Definition of Karl Marx

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “Karl Marx (1818–1883).” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved July 18, 2019 (http://sociologydictionary.org/karl-marx/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

Karl Marx (1818–1883). (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from http://sociologydictionary.org/karl-marx/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “Karl Marx (1818–1883).” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed July 18, 2019. http://sociologydictionary.org/karl-marx/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“Karl Marx (1818–1883).” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 18 Jul. 2019. <http://sociologydictionary.org/karl-marx/>.