dialectical, dialectic. In the most general sense, a process involving opposities (for example, one might say that history is a dialectic of spontaneity and constraint); more narrowly, a process resulting in a synthesis or reconciliation of opposing forces or factors. Berger: //In the classical old-European tradition dialectics formed part of the trivium with rhetoric and grammar and named a mode of reasoning through debate and disputation. In later medieval thought and in German idealist philosophy it named both the art of reasoning, or logic, and the investigation of truth. Though these meanings survive, dialectics has subsequently been associated specifically with the detection of contradiction and its effects in the structuring or deformation of a whole. This sense has chiefly derived from Hegel and Marxism. However, the analysis of texts or social processes in terms of their internale contradictions and the view that these expose limits or force change are common in sociological and cultural study and might be linked with the identification of subordinate or marginalized groups and meanings, with or without any direct reference to dialectics or to Marxism. The Marxist tradition of seeing dialectics as "the science of the general laws of motion, both of the external world and of human thought" (Engels) derives from Hegel's formula of the dialectic as a movement from thesis and antithesis to a new higher unity or synthesis. Marx and Engels famously stood Hegel on his head giving a materialist grounding to his idealist account of the dialectic as a movement operating primarily in thought and only secondarily in the world. Marx posited a dialectical movement in history, operating in the specific historical stage of capitalism through the internal contradictions which would bring this economic system to an end. Thus the factory system produces its opposite in the collective assembly of workers; the drive to maximize profit produces its opposite in over-competition, falling profit and economic crisis. This process, said Marx importantly, occurs independently of consciousness. In the full working of the dialectic, however, and the supersession of capitalism, it is the proletariat which develops a knowledge through the experience of class struggle of its own conditions and the nature of historical development. Marx's analysis gave rise to the description of Marxism (by the Soviet philosopher G.V. Plekanov) as dialectical materialism, though this description is generally distinguished from the related 'historical materialism'. While the latter describes Marxism's stress upon the material basis of historical development, 'dialectical materialism' usually refers to its philosophical method and the attribution of a generative dynamic (or 'laws') to that historical process.