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Critically evaluate Marx’s analysis of social class.

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Critically evaluate Marx's analysis of social class. Social class, it is a very simple phrase, but it is so hard to define this simple phrase. Various attempts have been made to try to define social class by sociologists. None is completely satisfactory but most make an honest attempt at classification. Basically, most of the sociologists facing this case have their own opinions which are different between each other. Such as Durkheim, Weber and Marx. In this essay I shall take the Marx's analysis of social class as a mail topic and evaluate his view on this topic. How did Marx define class? It is rather ironic that Marx, a man whose name is synonymous with class, and who wrote extensively about class, should never have defined class in a definitive manner. Marx quite often used the term class to refer to quite different groupings of people. Like most terms Marx used class in quite a liberal and perhaps loose manner. however, possible to extract a definition of the concept of class from the writings of Marx. According to Marx a class is determined by its relationship to the means of production. By this what is meant is that a class is determined by its ownership or non-ownership of the means of production, that is, of raw materials, factories and land. ...read more.


Rather than moving towards a polarization of classes, they argue that class structure of capitalist society has become increasingly complex and differentiated. In particular, a steadily growing middle class has emerged between the proletariat and bourgeoisie. Turing to communist society, critics have argued that history has not borne out the promise of communism contained in Marx's writings. Significant social inequalities are present in communist regimes, and there are few, if any signs of movement towards equality. The collapse of communism in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union in the late 1980s and early 1990s suggests that the promise of communism has been replaced by the desire for western-style democracies. Particular criticism has been directed towards the priority that Marx assigned to economic factors in this explanation of social structure and social change. Like Marx, Max Weber argued that the major class division is between those who own the forces of production and those who do not. Weber distinguished the following class groupings in capitalist society: 1. The propertied upper class 2. The property less white-collar workers 3. The petty bourgeoisie 4. The manual working class. In his analysis of class, Weber disagreed with Marx on a number of important issues. 1. Factors other than the ownership or non-ownership of property are significant in the formation of classes. ...read more.


In view of these changes, Dahrendorf argued that conflicts were no longer based upon the existence of the two classes identified by Marx, nor were they based upon economic divisions. Instead, Dahrendorf saw conflict as being concerned with authority. In summary, Class, for Marx, is defined as a social relationship rather than a position or rank in society. In Marx's analysis, the capitalist class could not exist without the proletariat, or vice-versa. The relationship between classes is a contradictory or antagonistic relationship, one that has struggle, conflict, and contradictory interests associated with it. The structure and basis of a social class may be defined in objective terms, as groups with a common position with respect to property or the means of production. However, Marx may not be primarily interested in this definition of class. Rather, these classes have meaning in society and are historical actors only to the extent that they do act in their own interests, and in opposition to other classes. Unlike much other sociologists, Marx's classes are defined by class conflict. But according to Marx's view, his view is only comparing with the period which he lived, because of this reason, confines of his view is very limited. It is just like Dahrendorf said that it was no longer valid, actually conflicts were no longer based upon the existence of the two classes identified by Marx, nor were they based upon economic divisions. Instead, conflicts as being concerned with authority. ...read more.

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