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