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Last updated February 14, 2001


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Explanation of Theory:Marxism is a theory based on Dialectical Materialism, which aims at explaining class struggle and the basis of social relations through economics.

Theorists: Karl Marx


Primary Article:Marx, K. (1963). The communist manifesto of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. New York: 
Russell & Russell.

Individual Interpretations:
Marxism identifies how the powerful exploit the powerless.

Metatheoretical Assumptions:

Ontological Assumptions:n/a

Epistemological Assumptions:n/a

Axiological Assumptions:n/a

Marxism is a humanistic theory.  It is good because it derives from a consistently formulated theoretical position.  It makes sense and is formulated and applied carefully.  It also has allowed other implications of research to be drawn from it.

Ideas and Implications:Marxism is a good because it shows how being powerless can lead to alienation, which is destructive under capitalism.


Example:The movie "When Harry Met Sally" is quoted in many communication textbooks as being an example of genderlect at its best.  Tannen is stating that communication between genders is really communication between cultures.  That men and women each have their own communication culture.

Relevant Research:
Grossberg, L. (1986). Is there rock after punk? Critical Studies in Mass Communication, 3, 50-74.
Murdock, G. (1989). Cultural Studies: Missing links, Critical Studies in Mass Communication, 6, 
Real, M. R. (1996). Exploring media culture. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Location in Eight (8) Primary Communication Theory Textbooks:

     Anderson, R., & Ross, V. (1998). Questions of communication: A practical introduction to theory (2nd ed.). New York: St. Martin's Press.  n/a

     Cragan, J. F., & Shields, D.C. (1998). Understanding communication theory: The communicative forces for human action. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon. n/a

 Griffin, E. (2000). A first look at communication theory (4th ed.). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill. n/a

     Griffin, E. (1997). A first look at communication theory (3rd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill. n/a

      Infante, D. A., Rancer, A. S., & Womack, D. F. (1997). Building communication theory (3rd ed.). Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland Press. n/a

      Littlejohn, S. W. (1999). Theories of human communication (6th ed). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. 227-230

      West, R., & Turner, L. H. (2000). Introducing communication theory: Analysis and application. Mountain View, CA: Mayfield. 304-305

       Wood, J. T. (1997). Communication theories in action: An introduction. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. 336
Marxist (Marx)