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Definition of Marxism

(noun) The economic and political theories expounded by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels that argue there is a struggle between the working class (proletariat) and the owners of the means of production (bourgeoisie), that struggle is needed for historical change and will lead to capitalism being replaced by communism.

Marxism Pronunciation

Pronunciation Usage Guide

Syllabification: marx·ism

Audio Pronunciation

– American English
– British English

Phonetic Spelling

  • American English – /mAHRk-siz-uhm/
  • British English – /mAHk-si-zuhm/

International Phonetic Alphabet

  • American English – /ˈmɑrkˌsɪzəm/
  • British English – /ˈmɑːksɪz(ə)m/

Usage Notes

  • Plural: Marxisms
  • A (noun) Marxist advocates for Marxism.

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Additional Information

Related Terms


Poulantzas, Nicos. 1973. “On Social Classes.” New Left Review 78.

Works Consulted

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

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

Macionis, John, and Kenneth Plummer. 2012. Sociology: A Global Introduction. 4th ed. Harlow, England: Pearson Education.

Marsh, Ian, and Mike Keating, eds. 2006. Sociology: Making Sense of Society. 3rd ed. Harlow, England: Pearson Education.

O’Leary, Zina. 2007. The Social Science Jargon Buster: The Key Terms You Need to Know. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

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

Stewart, Paul, and Johan Zaaiman, eds. 2015. Sociology: A Concise South African Introduction. Cape Town: Juta.

Thorpe, Christopher, Chris Yuill, Mitchell Hobbs, Sarah Tomley, and Marcus Weeks. 2015. The Sociology Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained. London: Dorling Kindersley.

Cite the Definition of Marxism

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “Marxism.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved May 24, 2024 (https://sociologydictionary.org/marxism/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

Marxism. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/marxism/

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

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “Marxism.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed May 24, 2024. https://sociologydictionary.org/marxism/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“Marxism.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 24 May. 2024. <https://sociologydictionary.org/marxism/>.