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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- “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).
- 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.
- class conflict
- conflict theory
- means of production
- mode of production
- relations of production
- social science
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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 May 19, 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 May 19, 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. 19 May. 2019. <http://sociologydictionary.org/karl-marx/>.