• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Discuss Weber's account of Class and Status.

Extracts from this document...


Discuss Weber's account of Class and Status Max Weber was a 19th century German scholar, his writings are best known for their historical grasp of western societies and their economic, political and religious development [Morrison, 1995:213]. He had distinctly modernist emphasis to his studies, focussing on formation of bureaucracy and development of the modern state to name a few examples. Although influenced by many great thinkers the theme that prevails in Weber's work (especially where concerning capitalism) is that of Karl Marx, Weber opposed many of Marx's beliefs, which spurred Weber's development of forming completely different opinion concerning the role of history in social development [Morrison, 1995:214]. Weber's view on stratification1 of society, which he developed in the early 1900s, is far more complicated than Marx's2. According to Weber there are three levels of stratification, these are class, status and power. This essay will focus on how Weber defined class and status and more importantly how they differ from each other. Although the common conception is status and class are interchangeable words, which both refer to the same ambiguous entity, Weber strongly iterates that they are not and both have clear separate meanings. ...read more.


opportunities to obtain specific types of income on the market (e.g. lawyers, entertainers)3. That is, those having similar economic interests with respect to particular markets are in a similar position. Weber notes "The typical chance for a supply of goods, external living conditions, and personal life experiences, in so far as this chance is determined by the amount and kind of power, or lack of such, to dispose of goods or skills for the sake of income in a given economic order". "A group of people in a similar situation they correspondingly have their life chances determined more or less in common, by a factor that strongly affects this, therefore"4 Weber argues that owners are in a better position to benefit from what they have than are non-owners, because the propertied can increase their life chances by profitable deals and increasing their monopoly whereas the other main class can increase their life chances by selling their services on the market; the profitability of this is determined by the market conditions. Thus, classes tend to fall along the lines of owners and non-owners (i.e. labourers) 4. Each of these can then be broken up by the type of ownership and type of service they provide. ...read more.


that will always be present. This is due how Weber stratified society into three, class, status and power, both class and status are vehicles for exuding power over the socially "weak" classes and extending the power of the economically dominant. Although the two will always be intrinsically linked, you cannot have status without class nor vice verse, in Weber's view every society is divided into status groups with distinctive life-styles and views of the world, just as it is divided into distinctive classes. In modern society Weber's stratification of society is far more appropriate than Marx's, the detail and separation he creates an accurate view of society that transcends time to still be applicable to analysing today's culture. Books Morrison, Ken. (1995) Marx, Durkheim, Weber - Formations of Modern Social Thought, Sage Weber, Max. (1978) Economy and Society, University of California Press Websites Max Weber: I. Class, Status, Party www.soc.sbs.ohio-state.edu/classes/ Soc488/Moody/class_notes/Weber.htm 1/12/03 Multiple Sources of Power - Class, Status, and Party www.uregina.ca/~gingrich/o2302.htm 1/12/03 Max Weber www.cf.ac.uk/socsi/undergraduate/introsoc/mweber.html 2/12/03 1 Stratification - The act or process or arranging persons into classes 2 Website - Max Weber 3 Website - Multiple Sources of Power - Class, Status, and Party 4 Website - Max Weber: I. Class, Status, Party 5. Website - Multiple Sources of Power - Class, Status, and Party Sarah Spooner Page 1 5/8/2007 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Sociology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Sociology essays

  1. Karl Marx and Max Weber have different views upon social class in contemporary societies.

    action even against the resistance of others and the ability to influence other's interests and actions. Means of seeking power are diverse, including violence, seeking votes, money, demagoguery, charisma, etc. Formal political parties and pressure or interest groups are different kinds of parties which divide up social power (E.g.

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

    Weber felt that the impersonal system of capitalism was exemplified in the bureaucratic power. Marx saw the impersonal system in the alienation of the proletariat workers. The writings of Weber leave the door open for the possibility for revolution in a capitalist society, but he does not directly speak of a revolution.

  1. I will examine the social class theories of Karl Marx and Max Weber, and ...

    They are given greater financial rewards and in turn move up the social ladder. (Krieken) Weber did not fully agree with Marx's theory of class, instead he believed in status groups. He defined class as being an 'unequal distribution of economic rewards', whereas a status group was an 'unequal distribution of social honour'.

  2. Critically evaluate Weber's contention that class, status and party are distinct entities and cannot ...

    Weber saw a diversification of classes and an expansion of white-collar class rather than a polarization. Weber disagree the view, held by Marx that inevitability of the proletarian revolution. He suggested that workers who feel hopeless or dissatisfied with their class situation might act in a variety of ways.

  1. Life Chances

    Education provides links to better jobs, and as earning power increases, so do life chances. In 1925, in a study conducted by the United States Children's Department, a relationship was found between infant mortality and family income. As family income decreased, infant mortality increased.

  2. Karl Marx and Vladimir Ilich Lenin - look at their very similar views on ...

    Do these parties adequately represent the differing areas of society? We find a huge amount of academics in the legislatures of most liberal democracies. The proportion of women, students, workers and the unemployed is very low. This surely demonstrates that the legislature is not in any way relevant to the structure of society.

  1. Max Weber: Basic Terms (The Fundamental Concepts of Sociology)

    its meaningful content, the action of each takes account of the others and is oriented to the behavior of others. Mere group membership is not sufficient. The relation of the actors may be solidary, or the opposite. Eg, a 'state' ceases to exist when there is no longer a probability

  2. Max Weber (1864 - 1920)

    It is conceived of as a core part of modernisation and as manifested especially in behaviour in the capitalist market; rational administration of the state and bureaucracy; the extension of modern science; and the expansion of modern technology. Some (such as the Frankfurt School)

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work