Compare and Contrast Marxist and Weberian Theories of Stratification

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Q: Compare and Contrast Marxist and Weberian Theories of Stratification.
The purpose of this essay is to compare, contrast and critically evaluate Marxist and Weberian theories of stratification. To do this effectively this essay must explain and consider the main features, claims and perspectives of both Karl Marx and Max Weber. O’Donnell (1992) defines social stratification as “the division of a society or group into hierarchically ordered layers. Members of each layer are considered broadly equal but there is inequality between the layers.” Functionalist Durkheim (1858-1917) argued that the reason for the existence of stratification was because it was functional or beneficial to the order of society.
According to Browne et al (2009),
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According to Haralambos et al (2004), Marx’s theory began with the view that it was crucial for humans to produce food and materials in order to survive, and to do so it was necessary to enter into relationships with other people. Fulcher et al (2007) suggested that Marx saw societies as social systems that were divided up into two specific parts, these were suggested by Marx to be the base and the superstructure. The base provided the mode of production and the superstructure provided stability through certain social institutions such as the legal and political systems. Marx also argued that the material conditions created contributed to the shape of society, he referred to such conditions as ideologies. According to O’Donnell (1992) Marx suggested that such societies could have only ensured material survival through the exploitation of the propertyless and by using sophisticated means of organised production. Therefore people first must be able to eat and maintain adequate clothing and shelter before they engaged in influential sociological activities such as politics and literature. Individuals were not able to access essential elements such as shelter unless they were able to engage in paid employment through a particular mode of
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