Marx regards man as both the producer and the product of society. Man makes society and himself by his own actions. History is therefore the process of man’s self-creation. Yet man is also a product of society.

He is shaped by the social relationships and systems of thought which he creates. An understanding of society therefore involves an historical perspective which examines the process whereby man both produces and is produced by social reality. A society forms a totality and can only be understood as such.