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Compare and contrast two of the perspectives - Marx & Weber

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Introduction

Compare and contrast two of the perspectives Marx & Weber Karl Marx is a German socialist who had strong views and ideas about class and society, his theory was what is called a macro theory. This is basically meaning that it has general theories for the masses and sees people working together, for a common goal. Max Weber also a German socialist on the other hand, separates people into small groups and individuals and is very much a 'dog eat dog' view of people and society. Weber believed that people competed against each other for resources, prestige and power in society. Marx theory is what is called a 'homogeneity' view, which sees everyone as the same and all being equal. Weber's theory however is called a 'heterogeneous' view in which everyone is different and people are not equal, there is a very clear divide between the 'working class' and 'middle class' exclusionary practices are common place, and it could be said that it is restrictive and aims to keep the rich rich and the poor poor. Marx believed that people needed to work together in order to get the basics of life e.g. food and material objects, by working together they enter social relationships or groups which are defined by the combination of 'forces of production' and 'means of production' the forces of production is the physical labour involved of production and the 'means of production' is the machinery and tools that are also required in the production. ...read more.

Middle

However Marx believed it was purely down to who owned the means of production and who didn't. Weber saw capitalism as making people richer and more prosperous due to the expanse of capitalist enterprises and the increase in demand of administration workers there became more 'white collar' or middle class. Marx however saw the polarization of the workers, as large companies expanded taking over small businesses and companies, which brought more white collar workers and less and less owners but more and more workers. Weber unlike Marx didn't believe in 'collective class' and saw no reason as why working class would attempt to organise each other and try to other throw capitalism so they could be a collective class and share the wealth. He did acknowledge it as a possibility as the 'common market' formed by the expanse of the capitalist enterprises would make it easier for working class to form groups, but saw it as nothing more than a possibility. Unlike Marx who thought political power should lie with economic power e.g. as the vast majority of society was working class they formed the economic power and therefore should have the political power as well, Marx saw it as unfair and unjust that the minority of wealthy classes had the majority of political power. ...read more.

Conclusion

religions, people who went to public schools mixing only with other public school families and reserving jobs only for people who also attended public school, an extreme example of status being restrictive is the Caste system in India. To a degree this contradicts Weber's theory of 'rewards' being handed to the 'superior' as there are other factors involved. In conclusion Weber seems to break down the barriers of class making people less 'class conscious' and weakening class solidarity. Because he sees people grouping themselves by their status it makes it less important. Whilst doing this he is still continuing the progression of the capitalist way of life. He seeked to bring people together by their attitudes, beliefs and values. Marx believed that being a member of a certain community defined by your wealth is what determines people's values and beliefs, he strived for social equality believing that class is the only element that forms social groups but his views can be seen as na�ve and basic. Weber sees people as being in control of their 'destiny' and 'rewards' not confined to the class they were born into. He believes society has a much more complex and diverse social structure than Marx's and believes the rewards should only be handed out to people who prove themselves to be superior and not given to groups just because they are the majority. ...read more.

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