Class Integration Through Class Division: a Structural-functionalist Interpretation of Plato's Republic Thesis uri icon



  • Thesis (M.A., Political Science)--University of Idaho, June 2014 | This thesis explores Plato's Republic through the lens of the sociological theory structural-functionalism. My interpretation will reflect the premises of this theory. I show how the system of social stratification allows for the most important features of eight seemingly oppositional social institutions or social structures to exist harmoniously in the society. These oppositional structures are the sacred/profane dichotomy, class and caste systems, endogamy and exogamy, and the nuclear and extended family. I show how the Guardians and the Auxiliaries represent the sacred, whereas the Workers represent the profane; how the Guardians and the Auxiliaries exhibit the features of a class society, while the Workers exhibit the features of a caste society; how the Guardians, Auxiliaries, and Workers practice endogamy, and yet appropriation and discarding mechanisms exist that function as exogamy; and how the Guardians and the Auxiliaries exhibit the extended family form, and the Workers exhibit the nuclear family.

publication date

  • June 1, 2014