Karl Marx


Marx was born on May 5, 1818 in Trier, Germany.

He died on March 14, 1883 in London.

Marx studied at Bonn and later Berlin University.

Time Period

In Marx's lifetime several revolutions began in nearby countries including France, where he lived for some time, Italy, and Germany, Marx's country of birth. The people revolting were mostly middle and lower class workers fighting against the overbearing ruling class.

The rise of the communist and socialist parties, which Marx was heavily involved in, affected how Marx viewed politics and those in charge. He saw an overbearing ruling class and, although they would not work as Marx might have hoped they would, these new parties offered a new start and hope to the lower classes. These experiences may have affected Marx's writing as his works focused on the link between society and economics and how different social classes interact.

Contributions to Sociology

He contributed with the social conflict theory which argues that individuals and groups within society have differing amounts of material and non-material resources (such as the wealthy vs. the poor) and that the more powerful groups use their power in order to exploit groups with less power.

Interesting Information

While in college Marx was imprisoned for drunkenness and disturbing the peace.

Marx was deported from Paris and Brussels because of his radical ideas.


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