Marxism, Pluralism and Beyond

Marxism, Pluralism and Beyond

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Examining developments in two of the central traditions of social and political theory - Marxism and pluralism, this work investigates whether the relation between them is one of progressive convergence. The author begins by considering conceptual and empirical shifts in each tradition since their more orthodox or classical formulations. In a closely interwoven argument, he then traces the sociological, philosophical and political debates between these perspectives. The issue of class, for instance, highlights the challenges which the Marxist tradition has had to face, as the pivotal role of the proletariat has increasingly come into question. Equally, pluralists have had to accept that pervasive structural divisions - including class, race and gender, for example - shape political and social interaction. A further major issue is considered - in the current climate of "postmodern" thought is the entire debate between Marxism and pluralism now outmoded? In a series of critical assessments of positions which attempt to go "beyond" Marxism/pluralism, McLennan argues that the central tensions and positions within this classic dialogue have not yet been superseded.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 250 pages
  • 152 x 229mm
  • Polity Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0745603505
  • 9780745603506

Table of contents

Part I A tale of two traditions: historic oppositions, contemporary questions; conventional to critical pluralism; Marxism and the "question of pluralism" - historical materialism; Marxism - the class analyis of politics; modalities of antagonism and convergence. Part 2 Beyond the debate?; the conundrums of philosophical pluralism; eclecticism and synthesis in social theory; statism - two variants of a third way; conclusion - "modest eclecticism" and the restructuring of social theory.show more

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