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Comparisons and contrasts between the theories of Karl Marx and Max Weber on social class.

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  • Essay length: 2032 words
  • Submitted: 22/12/2003
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GCSE Sociology

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Comparisons and contrasts between the theories of Karl Marx and Max Weber on social class

Inequality between people is the basis of the democratic system. Those who have the skills and abilities to perform and produce will succeed. But this belief is with the assumption that all people are given equal advantages and opportunities. During the nineteenth century, Karl Marx and Max Weber were two of the most influential sociologists who developed their own theories about why inequality is maintained. This essay, using sociological explanations, compares the differences and similarities between Marx and Weber's theories of class. It examines their theories of class, which are based on economic inequality. Finally, this essay reveals that Weber emerges as the better theorist as he can explain more of the complexities of modern stratification thereby providing a better explanation for class in contemporary society.

As Giddens (1997:240) writes "inequalities exist in all types of human society". Sociologists have given the term 'social stratification' to describe inequalities. "It is necessary to make a distinction between social inequality, which is the existence of socially created inequalities and social stratification, which is a particular form of social inequality" (Haralambos and Holborn, 1995:21).

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