Essay Example on Role in Modern Sociology of Comte, Weber, and Marx

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1707 Words
Date:  2022-12-29

Through the history and development of sociology as a discipline accredited to an abundance of philosophers and theorist. Sociology provides a perspective and a view of the world. Indeed, the sociological perspective sheds more light to society that are not familiar by giving a new look at familiar ones. Sociologists explore the border social contexts, which underlie the behavior of humans such as social groups that affect the behavior of humans and the bigger society that organize it. The sociological perspective is a way that helps to understand the behavior of human beings by putting it within the borders of social context. Aron (2018) defines the sociological perspective as a connection between biography that is individuals and history that is the social aspects that affect people. The sociological perspective has grown out of the economic, political, social and high-tech revolutions of the 18th and 19th century. Notably, the industrial revolt gnarled old civilizations, which made a necessity for novel ways on how to perceive and view the social world. Comte, Marx, and Weber play a significant role in the development of classical sociological perspective context (Aron, 2017). This paper discusses Auguste Comte, Karl Marx, and Max Weber the early thinkers in the event of sociology by comparing their scientific views of the world. In addition, the paper discusses how their views of these philosophers have cast an impact on how individuals view "science" today.

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Auguste Comte significantly contributed toward the development of classical sociological thought by first coining the term sociology in a positivism work that is still prominent in modern society up to date. Comte through his positivist sociology assets that the only vivid knowledge is that that is acquired through scientific methods such as observation, experimentation, and comparison (Aron, 2017). In this sense, Comte made a significant contribution to the development of classical sociology by giving sociology a unique approach as a science. For instance, in terms of distinct sociological methods of undertaking research that is in terms of theorizing, methodology and data collection. Consequently, in the contemporary setting, the positivistic approach of sociology is used in sociological research especially in quantitative research methodology. In this essence, one is bound to give accreditation to Comte's works, which contributes to the development of classical sociological development.

Comte made a significant contribution to the development of classical sociology basing on the cognizance of his law of three stages whereby he describes how societies transform their scientific development level. Comte classifies societies in three stages: positivistic stage, metaphysical stages, and theological stage. The positivistic step purely comprises of scientific knowledge that is free from fanaticism and superstition. The metaphysical stage the society starts to believe in science although with a belief of an abstract power, which guides individuals in everything. In the theological stage, societies are still driven by mere passionate beliefs of the supernatural where the gods control everything. Indeed, Comte's theory is applicable when one trails the evolvement of the society starting from the Stone Age societies until it reaches to the modern society enshrined through various scientific evolutions (Aron, 2017). In this sense, one can state the development of societies all the way from Ancient Greece or Ancient Rome, the age of antiquity, renaissance as well as the scientific revolution, all which display the three stages of Comte.

Max Weber's unique uses a distinct terminology verstehen through his historic study is among his best-known as well as most provocative offerings to the modern methodology of classical sociology thinking. Weber sensed that sociologist had an upper hand over natural researchers that exist in in the sociologist's capability to apprehend and interpret the social wonders, which could not be followed by the natural scientist understanding of the behavior of an atom (Berberoglu, 2017). In this regard, Weber decided to utilize hermeneutics implements to comprehend actors, interaction and all human history. In this case, both the works of Max Weber and Auguste Comte share a typical relationship in the sense that both believed in the contribution of methodology research.

On the other hand, there is a correlation between Max and Weber on their ideas about capitalism. These theorists believed that the expansion of industrial economies such as the robust western European nations. Accordingly, industrial manufacturing is the result of heightened this growth. The peak of the division of labor happened during the development of massive production (Sunar, 2016). Marx was a revolutionary who believed that capitalism was "radically unstable" who welcomed capitalism self-destruction. On the other hand, Weber was an advocate of pre-destination and libertarianism who has very moderate political views. It can be realized that the approaches used by Marx and Weber are intrinsically dissimilar such that Weber predominantly takes an epistemological stand, which shapes his writings. On the other hand, Marx's works are focused on scientific ethics which base it is ideologies on logic and teleology. Through their different ideologies, it forms a basis that dictates the perception regarding how capitalism came into existence.

Regardless of the profound difference between Marx and Weber in their conflicting views, many similarities can be drawn. For instance, there is explicit agreement when it comes to the concept of "specialization" Weber indirectly refers to the idea of specialization in his bureaucracy work (Berberoglu, 2017). Weber argues that for a bureaucracy to triumph it ought to have specific features. Such writings indicate that humans lose their significance where bureaucratic positions are given more value compared to people who hold these positions. Given the fact that bureaucracy as a governing structure, the concept of specialization by Weber is happening in the present political arena.

On the same note, the division of labor by Marx is similar to that of Weber writings basing on specialization. For instance, the initial resemblance is not only for division of work alone, instead, it also involves Marx's general capitalism theory. Furthermore, Weber values the labor that is performed instead of that which is individual. On the outside value, it looks like capitalism is a socio-economic system, which in effects favors labor, then it supports the individual (Karlsson, & Manson, 2017). Nevertheless, there is a philosophical difference between the philosophers in terms of how specialization is significant. In a sense, where Weber claims that bureaucratization contributes toward capitalism even though it is not the most relevant contributing aspect. While Marx takes a pessimistic perspective regarding capitalism, which makes it clear that the division of labor is a central part of capitalism, arguing that the more specialization is, the more the person becomes separated.

Despite the fact that Marx and Weber have a difference in the significance of specialization as well as how it influences the growth of industrial capitalism, they are the same in terms of implications of specialization and disaffection. In this case, Weber recognizes that the daily functionalities of bureaucracy have a resemblance to a capitalist system when he asserts "today it is mainly capitalist market economy that demands that the legal business of public administration be discharged accurately, continuously, unambiguously and with the fastest speed possible" (Aron, 2018). Additionally, Weber looks at bureaucracy as well as matched with the alienation ideas of Marx. Regarding Weber's writings about bureaucracy where he describes the bureaucratic official as an individual who has experience in his filed and is able to confirm and deploy laws and regulations. Moreover, Weber talks about the training of the individual that one has to go through to become a bureaucrat to allow the person specialize and in turn be able to perform their work to the best of their ability. The power of the bureaucracy would mandate the bureaucrat position education. On the same note, in Marx's plant, the education of the workforce would be dictated by the essential elements of capitalism that are the surplus value. In this sense, it is evident in both instances that the individual becomes alienated from the work that they perform.

Alienation is a term advanced by Marx, which Weber's ideology seems to overlap, although he does not directly address the matter. Alienation if the belief that a "worker can only express individuality through a production system, which is not collectively, but privately owned" (Sunar, 2016). Marx highlights four main types of alienation: work, product, species-being, and other humans. The best example that is used to demonstrate this concept is that of a car plant, where individuals are alienated from the work process based on cumulative efforts utilized in producing the car. In simple terms given that most often employees specialize in a specific field wherein the context of the car some can test the car and others can design the car. Therefore, since these individuals cannot see the whole production process of the car, they become alienated from the place of work. In another good modern example is that of the Chinese factory, which generates iPhones, its employees are in most cases paid low wages. In this sense, it means that these factories cannot afford the production by themselves; this is an excellent example of alienation from the product. Indeed, Marx believed that the division of labor especially the use of machinery detaches all intellects from manual labor Karlsson and Manson, (2017), which indicates that the individual value contingent on the labor that they perform.

In summary, Comte, Weber, and Marx play a significant role in influencing modern classical sociological thought. The paper highlights some of their artistic contributions that are still in existence up to date. Despite that fact that some weaknesses can be debauched in their contributions, nonetheless, that aids to illustrate the more extensive building and rebuilding of classical thought and how it came into being, by enlightening several paradigms in social science study like positivism.


Aron, R. (2018). Main Currents in Sociological Thought: Volume One: Montesquieu, Comte, Marx, De Tocqueville: The Sociologists and the Revolution of 1848.

Sunar, L. (2016). Marx and Weber on oriental societies: in the shadow of western modernity. London: Routledge.

Aron, R. (2017). Main currents in sociological thought: Montesquieu, Comte, Marx, Tocqueville and the sociologists and the revolution of 1848. London: Routledge.

Berberoglu, B. (2017). Social Theory: Classical and Contemporary-A Critical Perspective. London: Routledge.

Karlsson, J. C., & Manson, P. (2017). Concepts of Work in Marx, Durkheim, and Weber.

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