- Base and superstructure
- In describing his materialist conception of history Karl Marx suggests that a society is like a building consisting of a foundation on which is erected the more visible structure. The foundation is the economic mode of production, that is the organization and process of economic production. On top of this sits the social and political system. Marx labels these two elements the economic base and the superstructure. The economic base consists of the forces and relations of production and Marx’s theory of historical materialism identifies these as being crucial in conditioning the superstructure. The superstructure consists of the noneconomic aspects of society and includes laws, political and legal institutions, philosophy, religion, morals, culture, and the dominant or prevailing ideas more generally which Marx calls the “social consciousness.” The exact relation between the base and superstructure is unclear and has been disputed by Marxists, some taking a more deterministic or reductionist viewpoint, where the superstructure is seen as secondary and derivative and the economic base as primary and determining, while others have stressed the interaction between the two.The imprecision of the metaphor allows for a range of different and conflicting constructions to be placed upon it.
Historical dictionary of Marxism. David Walker and Daniel Gray . 2014.
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Base and superstructure — NOTOC Base and Superstructure form a synthetic pair explicitly or implicitly common to all socialisms but due as such to Marx and Marxismwhere it serves to distinguish the essential basis of various social orders from various other formative and… … Wikipedia
base and superstructure — The metaphor used by Marx and Engels to characterize the relation between the economic organization of society, which is its base, and the political, legal, and cultural organization and social consciousness of a society, which is the… … Philosophy dictionary
Base — or BASE may refer to:A base is a mixture of urine n waste so do not eat it* Base meaning bottom, the lowest part of an object* can mean negative, unfavorable or undesirable in nature. Bad; vile; malicious; evil.In mathematics: *Base (mathematics) … Wikipedia
base — A term imported into Marxist discourse on the authority of Karl Marx s reference to a ‘real foundation, on which rises a legal and political superstructure and to which correspond definite forms of social consciousness’, which appears in the… … Dictionary of sociology
Superstructure — See Base and superstructure … Historical dictionary of Marxism
base — n Base, basis, foundation, ground, groundwork are comparable when meaning something on which another thing is reared or built or by which it is supported or fixed in place. Base may be applied to the lowest part or bottom of something without… … New Dictionary of Synonyms
superstructure — Like the term base , that of superstructure was imported into Marxist discourse on the authority of Marx s reference to the sphere of production as being the ‘real foundation, on which rises a legal and political superstructure and to which… … Dictionary of sociology
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Superstructure — A superstructure is an upward extension of an existing structure above a baseline. This term is applied both to physical structures like buildings, bridges or ships and to conceptual structures as well (e.g., in social sciences). The word… … Wikipedia
superstructure — superstructural, adj. /sooh peuhr struk cheuhr/, n. 1. the part of a building or construction entirely above its foundation or basement. 2. any structure built on something else. 3. the overlying framework or features of an organization,… … Universalium