Marx & Weber

Decent Essays
Class & Inequalities – Marx & Weber

Most societies throughout the world have developed a notion of social class. It 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 have headed this long standing debate, Karl Marx and Marx Weber. Karl Marx, on the one hand, ideas about class are still influential in many cultures around the world. On the other hand Max Weber is considered one of the fathers of modern thought and one of the most influential persons in the world of intellect. Despite their clear similarities, such as both coming from a European protestant background, they have
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Weber argued that owning property, such as factories or equipment, is only part of what determines a person’s social class. Social class for Weber included status and power, in addition to property or wealth. People who run corporations without owning them still benefit from increased production and greater profits. Wealthy people tend to be more powerful than poor people, and power can come from an individual’s prestige. Example: Arnold Schwarzenegger enjoyed prestige as a bodybuilder and as an actor, and he was also enormously wealthy. When he was elected governor of California in 2004, he became powerful as well. Weber felt that struggle is about competition and maximising your access to and acquisition of ‘scarce’ resources.

Arguments for why Marx is more important-
When looking into today’s society it is clear that although Weber’s work on class has been referenced in the work of contemporary sociologists it is clear that Karl Marx’s theory on worker alienation and the uneven distribution of capital that has the greater number of parallels with today’s society.
We live in a time where the wealthiest 10% of society earn twelve times as much as the poorest 10% and a fifth of young people are unemployed. This is because modern capitalism exploits and commodifies workers in the
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