Classical sociological theory arose in the nineteenth century, in the aftermath of the American and French Revolutions and during the Industrial Revolution. Explain how the theories of Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim, and Max Weber all reflect the emergence of modernity (industrial rev) and a concern for the consequences of contemporary modern life (21st C).

Emergence of Modernity and Consequences of Modern Life

There are three people who contributed a lot in sociology. Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim and Max weber. They are called classical sociologist because of their contributions in twentieth century. According to Marx, the modern industrial society emerged from feudalism is a capitalist society. Capitalist societies are made up of bourgeoisie and proletariats. In this kind of society, proletariats are different and alienated from labor class. According to him, profit is just for proletariats. (Carter, 2007). On the other hand, Durkheim believed that modern division of labor fetched different pathologies. For example anomic division, forced division and poorly coordinated division. He believed that these problems can be eliminated. He also gave solution to this. 1) Education and 2) occupational association. Max weber viewed the modern society differently than Durkheim. He described it as a rational and highly bureaucratized society. He pointed out two types of societies: pre modern, modern society. Pre modern society is dominated by traditional authority and modern in legal-rational authority. He also criticized the bureaucratization of the society. (Ritzer, 2011). Among the classical thinker, only Durkheim’s assumption manifest of situation of the modern society. Durkheim’s idea was also right that increasing the labor will breed individuality.


Carter, I. (2007). Modernizing. In. Matthewman, S., West-Newman, C. and Curtis, B. (eds.) Being sociological. New York: PALGRAVE MACMILLAN

Ritzer, G. (2011). Sociological theory. Derived from