The main strength of Marxism is that this theory analyses the power and conflict in society, it explains, why there is an uneven distribution of the wealth and power between the social classes. Marxism focuses on a class conflict and on the other issues that affecting behaviours, like gender and race. Marxism tends to create a system of true equality. Although this system of government is considered as communism, it concentrates on the human rights, encompassing the equal gender roles, access to education, and healthcare. Marxism offers benefits to the society, and to look at the Marxist theory, considering society as a whole, that means, it acknowledges all the social forces are involved. Marxism protects the rights of unions by encouraging them and standing up for the personal rights, creating a system of the checks and balances for a maximum production level. One of the weaknesses of Marxism is that it negatively affects the educational system. We can note that Marxist education is absolutely controlled by the state, that means, that regards too much importance to the role of the state in education. As a result, the methodology of teaching would be determined by the state, and it does not allow the local or regional agencies in education to have their impact. Marxism tries to abolish religion, by believing that religion is used to control the crowd. Under Marxism, people would have the choice to have own faith, but would not have the freedom to practice the faith in the chosen way. There is no value the concept of private ownership. There is the idea, in Marxism, that private properties and businesses must be abolished, that makes it impossible for people to take business advantage of someone else. Actually, people can run their own business under Marxism, but basically, they would work for the government. As a result, that means, nobody can work as an entrepreneur, freelancer or business owner, because, each business would run through the government. Whatever it was, Marxism leads to communism. The main disadvantage of Communism is that this philosophy leads to the dictatorship (Giddens,1995).
The functionalist perspective has many strengths and weaknesses about society’s functions. Strengths include its basic explanation of needs and functions of society, a general consensus about the values and norms of society. There is a link in society between the integrated parts that are tied together, when something is wrong with one institution then it will affect the other institutions. Society has a tendency to seek stability and avoiding the conflict.
While the weakness of Functionalism is that, it does not see, that an inequality in a society which based on a class, gender or race is wrong, and does not acknowledge exploitation and inequality within society. It does not also look at the root of social problems (Cohen, 1993).
To conclude that Marxist’s and Functionalist’s perspectives are very different. Both ways have been criticised for ignoring the personal perspectives and choices. These concepts believe that society shapes an individual, rather than the individual shapes our society. Society has changed and now become much more complicated, so that, Marxism and Functionalism are not applied as much as before. These perspectives can provide the useful views on society, but not always, these views are true for the real life.
Nevertheless, some Marxist’s ideas have strong impact today. For example, for social security, the government provides support for elderly, young and disabled people. Furthermore, available universal healthcare, emergency services such as police and fire department. At the present period of time, also available free education, public libraries, and main roads, also available subsidies on housing and utilities.