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Why classical theory not classical?

All classical theories has its basic premise which is to think about the future of
modernity specially to western societies. Emile Durkheim, Max Weber and Karl Marx
works are considered as classical theories and all of them were engaged with the
great transformation that occured on Industrializatoin era and urbanization of Europe
in 19th century and all of these founding fathers analyzes the factors of market
exchanges. They all have one thing in common which is these theorists can be
considered as structuralists but they focuses on different types or kinds of structures.
As for Marx, he assumes that the natural resources are converted by human labor
through factories into commodities. (Pampel 1991) For Max weber on the otaher
hand, his work focuses more on the norms, bureaucracies that enforces norms on
offices and the rationality in bureaucracies that argues, rationality had
"revolutionized" the modern life and also the consequences of rationality. His
theories also focuses on capitalism in protestant ethic,the spirit of capitalism and the
economy and society. It argues that the spread of capitalism has led to the
progressive rationalization of human societies. ( Pampel 1991) And for Emile
Durkheim, the theorist also focused on norms but also to morality in modern
societies. Emile Durkheim states that the social order in society depended on bonds
between individuals and social groups and these bonds as the source of morality that
contributes to social order. (Pampel 1991) His theories also contains about the study
of incidences of suicide in 1897 and his work in Sociology of religion in 1912.

Now, these theories are considered as classical theories but how can we define or
consider what is classic? Or how can we even prove that the theory is indeed classic?
Sociology is not just a practice but it attempts and aims to understand (Berger 1963)
And according to munch 1994 in germany that a classical period is the period or time
where sociological theory of sociology founding fathers was created. If we are going
to take the literal meaning of classic, it is something that is criticized and tested for
over a period of time to be able to have the finest and highest quality of its kind and
has a value. As Conell said, we must view sociology as a collective product in order
to examine the history of Sociology (Connell 1997) we must also consider the factors
such as shared assumptions, concerns and changing social forces that affected to
construct the said discipline. In that sense, what we might say is that classic, is not
just about the period of when it was created but how it was generated and the style
of it's writing because we can argue that classics can be changed and altered
depending on the geographical displacement and period.

I'm going to take for example of Karl Marx's theory of value and exploitation. Now,
His works is popular to a lot of people mentionng, Das Kapital. But up to this day, no
one has ever turned his work into a workable society. The work states that the value
of commodity was determined or dependent to the amout of labour that has been
used into producing the said commodity but let's consider that the value of
commodity is determined also through the marginal utility for simple words, how
useful is the product to consumers. On the other hand, the theory of exploitation
where there is a concept of owner and worker. The owner pays the worker less than
the worth of quality of the product that the worker is producing and that where
surplus comes. Surplus value is the extra or unpaid work created by workers (Collins
1985). But if we are going to consider that the labor theory of value is wrong, then
there is no exploitation because there is no objective value that the owner pockets
the surplus. Now, if we will consider marginal utility of the product, we will never
know if the product is worth the capital until it hits the market so without labor
theory of value, there is no exploitation.

For further example, let us take some of Emile Durkheim's theory of religion.
Durkheim's concept of religion is the separation of sacred and profane. (Muller and
Taylor 2008) For Durkheim, there is a boundary between the sacred and the profane
and it is maintained by the society. But for today's religion, it is hard to and almost
not feasible to make a boundary between to. let's take for example a church where
the spirit of god or a higher being is present and considered as a sacred place but for
the night, it is a place for studying, or for another event that is not related to the

I'm not saying that these theories are directly not classical. If we are going to weigh
between geographical displacement, period or may we say, the factors that affect
the said discipline such as shared assumptions, concerns and changing social forces,
classic is not a period but a style of writing that would appeal to radicals because we
can argue that classics can be changed and altered. There are times when a critic
truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new.

Schooling and everyday life: Knowledges sacred and profane?Johan Muller & Nick
TaylorPages 257-275 | Published online: 19 Jun 2008

Berger, P. (1963) Invitation to Sociology: A Humanistic Perspective

Double day 1963

Pampel, F. (1991) Sociological Lives and Ideas

Worth Publishers, 2006
Collins, R. (1994) Four Sociological Traditions
New York : Oxford University Press, 1994

Connell R. (1997) Why us Classixal Theory Classical

The University of Chicago Press