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

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

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Karl Marx and Max Weber have different views upon social class in contemporary societies. In Karl Marx's perspective, social class has a two-class system whereas Max Weber argued that social class has three dimensions of stratification: class, status and party. In this essay, I will explain and analyse why Weber carried out this theory that these three dimensions are distinct entities and cannot be resolved under the single concept of class. A "class" is any group of persons occupying the same class status. Unlike Marx's two-class system, Weber divided "class" into four categories: propertied upper class, propertyless intelligentsia (white-collar workers), the petty bourgeoisie, and the manual working class. A propertied class is placed at the top because they own economic power, social status and political influence. A propertyless intelligentsia is a professional class. It was placed next because they not only have relatively high social status and some political influence, but also have higher position in the labour market. and ownership of lesser forms of property than propertied class (e.g. stocks and shares). A petty bourgeoisie was placed third because they have less property ownership, less social status and less political influence (e.g. ...read more.

Middle

Since such status order existed, very strict rule of dividing people into different status groups is inevitable. Criteria for entry into a status group may take forms as sharing of kinship groups or certain levels of education. The most typical form of a status system with a high level of closure is a caste system. The caste system was so extreme that it completely excluded outsiders to enter the status group by restricting members marrying people from other status groups. Status distinctions are guaranteed not only by law and convention, but also by religious and races. The elite self-recruitment in modern Britain is also a type of social closure. E.g. Those children whose family has a higher status could attend public schools, they are also more likely to go to Oxbridge and be employed in higher positions such as judges, senior civil servants whereas children from lower status could not achieve. . Class and status groups can be differed in certain ways although their situations are closely linked. Economic ownership is not a always a factor of status qualification whereas it is a factor of class qualification. ...read more.

Conclusion

Considered those factors, he carried out the theory of three distinct aspects or dimensions: class, status and party. Class represents economic situation, status represents social honor and esteem, party represents social power. From the analysis above, it is obvious that these three dimensions are distinct entities, hence, cannot be classify into single concept of class, according to Marx. However, Weber's multi-dimensional approach to the concept of social stratification has its strengths (as I trust we have seen), but it also has some potential weaknesses. Weber's pluralistic approach to social stratification makes it very difficult to specify stratified social groups in society. The boundaries between various groups are almost impossible to specify and we tend to end-up with a stratification system that is highly fragmented, there is no way of knowing where this fragmentation could stop. E.g. Women are one status group, they having a great deal in common but considered in class terms, they man not have very much in common in terms of their life chances, experiences. A working class woman may only have the biological fact of her sex in common with an upper class woman. Therefore, in my opinion, neither Marx's and Weber's theory of social stratification has adequately reflected the distinction of social class. ...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. Compare and Contrast Marx and Weber's view on Stratification

    they do not own part of the means of production and lack the means to produce goods autonomously. They are therefore dependent on the capitalists for their livelihood. The capitalists, as non-producers, are dependent on the labourers, since, without them, there would be no production.

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

    They sometimes use overt forms of violence that is carried out by the police or the military as in the case of the miner's strike, for example, but they maintain dominance more successfully through ideology. Art, literature, poetry, religion and science et al, makes other groups believe existing relations of exploitation and oppression, are natural and inevitable.

  1. What are the major dimensions of social stratification?

    He defined class, making a distinction between economic class and social class. Economic class was defined as a persons situation in the economic market whereas social class includes economic class but, in addition, members of the same social class share similar chances of social mobility .

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

    As Giddens (1997:244) writes "most of Marx's works were concerned with stratification and, above all, with social class". For Marx the key classes in the capitalist mode of production are the bourgeoisie (the class which owns and controls the means of production and property)

  1. Crime and Social class - Hypothesis - 'There is a relationship between social ...

    Crime offers one way. A bank robbery can give them the life they have been hoping for. This explains crimes that involve material goods, but what about crimes like vandalism. Many crimes appear to be pointless. Some thefts also seem to be pointless, e.g.

  2. The concept of a social class structure was identified by the famous German theorist Karl ...

    society today or have we moved away from this typical social structure which decides our social networks. This view can be looked at from the political sphere in which politicians attempt to reinforce the view that Britain is now a classless society.

  1. Gender as a form of Social Stratification.

    According to this theory, working class workers have no control over the production of work, leading to greater profits. The fragmation of educational subjects is linked to the fragmation of tasks at work and education can be seen as playing a part in encouraging inequality across generations.

  2. Is It Useful To Distinguish Between Three Distinct Ways In Which Society Is Stratified ...

    Various sociological perspectives have looked upon social stratification. But generally it is believed that social stratification is not a function of individual differences, but of society and that it persists over generations. The systems of stratification most commonly seen are perhaps, social classes, status groups - such as the caste system, those with power, ownership of property etc.

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