The article presents Weber’s argument regarding social stratification in contrast to Marx’s. In his discussion of his theory of social stratification, he outlines three ways in which society is divided: by class (economically), status (socially) and by party (ideologically). He argues that the individual identity is not determined by the class identity, and that status and party identities often cross class divisions.
Within this structure, Weber describes there being three dimensions of inequality: class (which correlates with the economy), status (which correlates with the social aspects of society), and party (which correlates with the political aspects of society). I believe most of the modern explanations of inequality, at most, help build upon Weber's general theories, and at least, reflect the same elitist pessimism that Weber also holds. The dual-labor market thesis contends that there are two labor markets (in terms of income), in which the higher income market is of primary importance and the lower income market is of secondary importance. This tries to justify those people within high power positions by (somehow) trying to prove that our system is objectively rewarding higher incomes to professions that have higher social importance than lower income professions. Similarly, the functionalist theory of stratification "views societies as social systems that have certain basic problems to solve or functions that have to be performed if the society is to survive" (243). So the reason for inequality, for functionalists, is because our system must reward (with significantly higher incomes) those individuals who are motivated enough to yield the stresses of such functionally important positions. The fact that our system reproduces classes into the same class assumes the
Social Stratification can be defined as “the study of whole societies, in comparative perspective, in an attempt to understand processes of social stability and change.” (Scott, Marshall, 2009:735). Nolan and Lenski (2004) stated that social organizations are a basic component of society; consequently, implying that societies are composed of different social classes that are defined by different roles, norms, ranks and values. Moreover, this assignment will Karl Marx’s theory of stratification and asses its usefulness in society today. Firstly, by briefly looking through Marx’s theory, secondly by looking at other theories of stratification:
Baseball in the 19th century was both an extracurricular activity and a cathartic activity for American society that suffered from the demands of industrialism. In order to better understand the sociological perspective of baseball in relation to the social context of its’ origination, this paper will consider baseball in the context of Max Weber’s theories about status and social stratification. Although his theories are seemingly similar to Karl Marx, their theories are essentially different. Marx primarily believes that economics and class are distinguishing factors of society; whereas, Weber believes that status and social stratification are the distinguishing factors of society.
The Cambridge Dictionary of Sociology defines inequality as ‘the unequal distribution of opportunities, rewards, and power among and between individuals, households and groups’(1). It goes on to say that ‘the subfield of social stratification has as its main task the description and analysis of inequalities, or the makeup of the stratification system of any given society’.(1) From this one definition, we can already begin to see the strong links that lie between inequalities and social stratification. As we delve deeper into the topics, we can begin to see both the inevitability and the functionality of stratification
America is supposedly where all men are created equally, yet society has created a hierarchy based on socioeconomic standing and political power. Theorists Karl Marx and Max Weber has applied their theories of social class on the model of social stratification; a system in which society ranks categories of people in a hierarchy. According to Karl Marx, the main classes of society are the bourgeoisie and the proletariat; those that are the owners of the means of productions and those who work for it. On the other hand, Max Weber argued that there is a multidimensional ranking rather than a hierarchy of clearly defined classes. America has created a social system in which those of middle and lower classes tend to struggle to decrease the gap
To start of my essay I will compare and contrast between the two theories of Karl Marx and Max Weber on the topic of social class that will be discussed widely. The inequality between people is the basis of the democratic system, which is “a political system”. It is said that “those who have the skills and abilities to perform and produce will succeed in life.” But this belief is the assumption that all people are given equal opportunities and advantages. During the 19th century Karl Marx and Max Weber were two of the most influential sociologists who developed their own theories about why inequality is maintained with social class in society. Many might argue that there are many similarities and differences between these sociologists theories, however although Marx’s and Weber’s both examined similar ideas. This essay will compare the differences and similarities between Marx and Weber’s theories of class within society, which are based on economic inequality and capitalism. And lastly this essay will demonstrate that Max Weber comes across as the greater theorist as he can relate his concept more towards today’s society. Anthony Giddens (2nd edition) quoted that “You need greater equality to achieve more social mobility.” Therefore social class is referred to a group of people with similar levels of wealth, influences, behaviours and status. Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887) American Politician states that the “ignorant classes are the dangerous classes.”
Karl Marx believed societies evolved through different stages: feudalism, capitalism, and socialism. He suspected social change to be strongly linked with the economy; class struggle caused by 19th century capitalism. With the decline of the aristocracy and the industrial revolution Marx believed more opportunities would be available for the poor, but that was not the case, instead the aristocracy were "replaced ' ' by capitalists. The wealthy
Most societies throughout history and the world have developed a notion of social class. It is refers to hierarchical distinctions between individuals or groups within society. How these social classes have been determined has been a common topic among social scientists throughout time. Two individuals who have headed this long standing debate are Karl Marx and Max Weber. In this paper I will be summarizing Marx and Weber’s theories on social class; how they are determined, their interests, and problems that may exist among groups. I will then provide my own critiques of their arguments.
Karl Marx and Max Weber were influential sociologists that paved the way for modern sociological school of thought. Both, Karl Marx and Max Weber contributed a lot to the study and foundation of sociology. Without their contributions sociology would not be as prominent as it is today. From the contribution of how sociology should be studied, to how they applied their theories to everyday life has influenced many sociologists. Predominantly, both of these theorists’ discussed the effects of capitalism, how it has developed, shaped and changed society into what it is today. Specifically, Karl Marx’s contribution of the bourgeoisie vs. the proletariat class and Max Weber’s social stratification has helped individuals to understand how modern day society has transformed into what it is today. Particularly, this paper will lie out Weber’s theory of social stratification and Marx’s theory of the bourgeoisie vs. the proletariat class; additionally this essay will also compare and contrast the ideas of these two influential sociologists. Finally this essay will criticize both of these sociologists’ theories and display that Marx and Weber do not explain how modern day society and classes have been formed.
Marx’s (1987) “materialist conception of history” (p. 146) provides an outline through which he presents the intimate connection between society and the provision of material need through the ages. His theory begins with the pre-modern individual, whose existence consists only of productive actions vital to only his own survival, such as gathering food and building shelter. Marx considers this
Weber argues that social mobility can either move us upwards or downwards depending on our choices and opportunities. While Marx does recognise social mobility, he relates this mainly to the petty bourgeoisie, and its likelihood of being absorbed by the other two classes due to its transitional nature. For Marx, class is a clearly defined and
Karl Marx’s view of society was based around the economy. All other social structures according to Marx, such as religion, family values, and politics stem from the base, the economy. Religion played no part at all in Marx’s sociological views. He is known as an atheist. He believed that religion was nothing more than a burden on society. “The
In the opposite, Weber rejected the economic determinism of Marxism in the understanding of the stratification of the modern capitalist society. For Weber, the capitalist society is stratified in a two different ways from the Marxist description: On the one hand, the class differentiation is not classified merely by the ownership of means of production. According to Weber, class interest not as a given historical attribute to workers and capitalist, but is an ‘average interests’ of different individuals sharing similar market situation and ‘life chance’. Such ‘life chance’ is defined by the capacity of the individual to create utility and exchange value in the market by the utilization of their property. Therefore, class situation of the propertied is not merely defined by the ownership of means of production, but also returns on investment and rental income, which Marx doesn't take into account; for the class situation of the property-less, people is also fragmented by their differential possession of scarce skills, services and knowledge. Class interest is complex and fragmented.
Marx seen the economy as the basis of society and called this the infrastructure, he saw the institutions of society such as the political system, the education system, the mass media, religion and even family as developing out of the economic system which he called the superstructure which was shaped by the base (infrastructure), the means of production (everything required to produce), machines, factories, land and raw materials all owned by the bourgeoisie.