I'm a master's graduate in biology. I completed a thesis recently on 'Social science in the age of biology'. It discusses how social scientists and biologists approach and answer questions pertaining to human behaviour and organisation of society differently. I was able to complete this thesis because I was guided by a social scientist. I developed a keen interest in the social sciences. I am now reading Foucault's ' Madness and Civilization' and Marx's ' Capital' and am finding it very difficult to decipher the text, even after understanding the individual words. Why is it that I'm finding it so difficult to make sense of the works of intellectuals in the social sciences? The amount of abstraction is also lesser as compared to the sciences, in which I have some training. My reading and comprehension skills are also reasonably good. What can I do to bridge the gaps in my ability to comprehend the works of intellectuals in the social sciences? Is doing coursework necessary?
These authors wrote for a particular audience and you, as a person living in 2017, are not who they had in mind. Part of comprehending text is being able to attach it to something that provides context to the text. You probably don't have this. Before reading books such as these try reading a modern summary that also provides context. This will give you a better chance at comprehension.
Additionally, the style of writing has evolved substantially since these books were written. Today authors (should) write for clarity. This wasn't always the case.