Marxism is a method of socioeconomic analysis that uses a materialist interpretation of historical development, better known as historical materialism, to understand class relations and social conflict as well as a dialectical perspective to view social transformation. It originates from the works of 19th-century German philosophers Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. As Marxism has developed over time into various branches and schools of thought, there is currently no single definitive Marxist theory.[1]

Some Marxist schools of thought place greater emphasis on certain aspects of classical Marxism while rejecting or modifying other aspects. Some schools have sought to combine Marxian concepts and non-Marxian concepts which has then led to contradictory conclusions.[2] It has been argued that there is a movement toward the recognition of historical and dialectical materialism as the fundamental conceptions of all Marxist schools of thought.[3] This view is rejected by some post-Marxists such as Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe, who claim that history is not only determined by the mode of production but also by consciousness and will.[4]

Marxism has had a profound impact on global academia, having influenced many fields, including anthropology,[5][6] archaeology, art theory, criminology, cultural studies, economics, education,[7] ethics, film theory, geography,[8] historiography, literary criticism, media studies,[9][10] philosophy, political science, psychology, science studies,[11] sociology, urban planning, and theater.