Karl Marx discussed society in terms of class with an emphasis on there being a class divide. He was interested in how classes formed within capitalism and he defined class by the means of production, in terms of makes a product and who buys the product: the proletariat or the bourgeoisie. Capitalist society exists to make profit and to do that, capitalists keep the cost of labor down by not paying their workers enough. Marx felt that this manipulation was unfair and was completely opposed to the idea of capitalism because of its effect on its workers.
More modern Marxist theory discusses the idea that there is a new class in society who are unsatisfied with being members of the working class, despite working to earn their money, and became known as the “new middle class.” This discontent attitude was born out of Conflict theory which discusses the unequal distribution of wealth in society. Conflict theory, like functionalist theory, focuses on the structure of society in as much as it uses it as an understanding of how deviance develops within. As such, conflict theory states that low wealth causes an increased crime rate.
Both Marxism and conflict theory discusses capitalism as causing unrest and inequality in society and therefore they both suggest that capitalism affects the nature of work by causing the working classes to be unhappy and potentially turn to crime. Capitalism causes there to be a lack of wealth and in turn, a lack of social development for the working classes and they are likely to find alternative means of wealth and therefore affect society in a negative way.
Anderson, M. L. & Taylor, H. F. (2008). Sociology: Understanding A Diverse Society. California: Thomson Higher Education.
Anderson, M. L. & Taylor, H. F. (2007). Sociology: The Essentials. California: Thomson Higher Education.