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

Does Karl Marx or Max Weber Offer a Realistic Analysis of Today’s Society?

Extracts from this document...


DOES KARL MARX OR MAX WEBER OFFER A REALISTIC ANALYSIS OF TODAY'S SOCIETY? Throughout this essay the writer will be questioning the analysis of society which German sociologists, Karl Marx (1818-1883) and Max Weber's (1863-1920) both offer and come to a decision as to who offers a more realistic analysis of society today. Is society becoming deskilled? Is Capitalism maximising profit? Are non-owners of the means of production becoming similar due to technology? Marx suggests that there are many contradictions within society, he referred to the term contradictions to refer to the stresses and strains that weaken the social structure from within, he claims that such contradictions can not survive in their existing form. One of these contradictions involves the class members of society and their relationship to the means of production, meaning the way in which things are produced in the economy. Marx's theory suggests that the Bourgeoisie (The Capitalist) who own the means of production (oomop) have the capital to invest. Therefore the have the power to exploit the no owners of the means of production (noomop), the Proletariat. They do this by paying the lowest price possible for their labour. The waged labourer does not own the raw materials and machinery that are used to manufacture the products of industry, which are main aspects of the mop. ...read more.


Resulting in a highly specialised workforce. Weber proposed that an individuals skill will be waged differently dependant largely on whether it is in demand or not and weather the supply of the skill is greater than the demand for it. Therefore, he suggested the market situation of that skill is not constant. In Weber's terms, the value of a skill is based upon a market economy model. Here Weber suggested that a person's class is dependant on their market situation. Unlike Marx, who believed that status is ascribed, meaning that an individual is born into their status (which Marx suggests is controlled by capital), as they will take on the same status as their family, becoming either oomop or noomop, therefore they have no social mobility (the opportunity to move from one stratum in society to another). For example, if there are two sons of a father who is a waged labourer and one son becomes an unskilled worker, that son isn't socially mobile. Weber suggests that if someone were to win the lottery they would then have the power (the capital) to invest to allow him or her to make a profit. Even if this was to happen to an individual Weber suggests that their 'status' would disallow them from entering upper class because his/her lifestyles have been completely different than that of someone of a higher status. ...read more.


Better working conditions and pay have increased. Even the unemployed, sick and lone parents receive benefits, therefore Weber argues that there is no reason for anyone to revolt as everybody has been catered for and society will stabilise. This has actually been proven. Firemen and City College are on strike but it is not a class issue and they have not become class conscious. It is a self-interest strike as they are not seeking class war or better working conditions. They are seeking better pay conditions, in the interest of better life styles for other members of their groups. Weber's theory definitely has more credibility here. Technology has taken over many jobs but this as not resulted in the deskilling of the work force as Marx predicted. Evidently highly specialilised individuals have emerged within the working class as Weber predicted. Yes, people can change and achieve a higher status as Weber proposed. No, non-oomop are not homogeneous like Marx suggested, and Yes, capitalists do seek the cheapest labour (globalisation). Karl Marx and Max Weber both offer amazing, yet staggering theories and analysis of today's society. Even though Weber's ideas offer a more realistic analysis of today's complex and specialised society, Marx's revolutionary ideas haven't been dismissed, but the essay specifically asks today. Dawn-Aleah Andrew. 32311 11/11/02 1 ...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.

    If manual workers were dissatisfied with their class, they would carry out a series of actions to struggle for what they expected for. These actions may be complaint, take strike action, etc. which could lead to the destruction of capitalism.

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

    and proletariat (the class which does not own the means of production, the exploited property-less wage workers). Marx argued that exploitation was a defining characteristic of capitalist production: that the extraction of surplus value from the collected labourers in the factory was the basis of profit and accumulation.

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

    So through this forced union of common interests for each of the groups, such as the pursuit of personal gain by the bourgeoisie pulling one way, and the proletariat attempting to survive financially pulling the other, this conflict creates a division and through this class is born.

  2. Compare and contrast Karl Marx's and Michel Foucault's analysis of the concept power.

    society became divided into two opposing camps: the bourgeois and the proletariat. Bourgeois ideology was false and most pertinently once the working class discovered that it was alienated it could embrace a model of liberation. Essentially the working class possessed an ambiguous identity; 'Class in itself' and 'class for itself'.

  1. Life Chances

    For women, the expectancy was 5.7 years more for professional women. Smoking rates (1998-99) was lower in male professionals (13%) than in unskilled manual males (44%). Infant mortality (2001) was found to be 3.6 per 1000 births for professional compared to 6.7 for unskilled manual workers.

  2. What Civil Society Can Do to Develop Democracy

    topic of civil society to the attention of social scientists in the West. CCS researchers would reach similar conclusions for the way in which the social sciences typically approached 'development' in the South. For too long we have held preconceived notions of 'the' market and 'the' state that were seemingly independent of local societies and cultures.

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

    The ideal type case of meaning is where meaning is fully conscious and explicit: this rarely happens in reality. Adequacy on the level of meaning: a subjective interpretation of a coherent course of conduct when its component parts in their mutual relation are recognized as a 'typical' complex of meaning.


    can gain very substantial gains compared to other unions in other industries. Also, unions have their own costs. The cost of unions and the collective bargaining is shared by both workers and employers. Every month, union fee is cut from employers.

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