4 Citations (Scopus)


This article proceeds from the assumption that the transition to socialism must take account of individuals as they are, not as they might be. The emphasis on the individual appears to be inconsistent with the marxian basis of socialist thought. Attempts to resolve this inconsistency have led marxists to concentrate on cultural and psychological explanations of people within capitalist society. We criticise these attempts, and argue for a view of the individual in society which recognises personal autonomy yet acknowledges the role of structural forces in social change. Given this model, we then ask if there is any indication of individual changes within contemporary capitalism which promote the transition to socialism. In contrast to the pessimistic interpretations which dominate the literature, we argue that the present psychological and cultural states of individuals within capitalism can engender socialist change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-32
Number of pages16
JournalTheory, Culture and Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1986

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