Assess the usefulness of Marxist theories of stratification in understanding social class in society today. 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
To understand Karl Marx’s view on race and ethnicity, one must first comprehend his theories on social structure, capitalism, materialism and alienation of the common worker. Marx was writing during a period of industrial advancement and believed the basis of all social and historical conflict was imbedded in the struggle between classes. Moreover, during the industrial revolution, Marx saw how manufacturing businesses owned by the Bourgeoisie were excelling, while a vast majority of the working class (proletariats) were still living in poverty. These large income divides between the Bourgeoisie and the proletariats only reinforced Marx’s theory that history
Celebrated communist Claudia Jones responds to Du Bois reading “Marxism and the Negro Problem” who stated that the double burden of race and class made African Americans seek democratic justice. In her reading, Claudia Jones adds to Du Bois conclusion stating that black women are an essential link to the African American quest for justice in a democracy that would not only oversee the emancipation of women but of the whole class of the oppressed (Jones, 1949).
Sociology is fluid in the way in which theories become less central to sociological thinking as time progresses. The theory of social class in particular was very prominent throughout the 1950’s-1970’s where social class divisions were seen as central to understanding differences in opportunity and life chances. Social class has been defined as ‘ a division of a society based on social and economic status.’ (1) These theories of social class were developed and studied by the likes of Marx, Weber and Durkheim. The theory of class has been subject to some criticism however since it fails to explain other forms of inequality such as race, gender and sexuality. Although there have been many attempts to link these inequalities to social class, no such connection has been found and other theoretical approaches have been needed from the likes of Andrew Pilkington, Kathwood Woodward and
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.
class, and gender available today, this anthology is filled with articles that will undoubtedly shake up previously held views. Not only do these readings illustrate how the structure of race,
Marxism is a conflict theory between a marginalized, exploited group, the proletariat, and a controlling class, the bourgeois. The bourgeoisies are made up of an elite middle class that controls most of societies production. The proletariat is made up of a lower-class labor force. The proletariat has labor-power that they sell for a salary. This is on the basis that the laborer freely chooses the contract they enter with an employer. The bourgeois are those who hire the labor power. After the proletariat is hired, the bourgeois then owns any goods produced by that worker.
The purpose of this essay is to provide an explanation on why sociologists are interested in class. This assignment will define what class is and to what extent class matters. Other social divisions will be explored in this assignment to show how they intersect with class. The social divisions which intersect with class which will be discussed include economic and social inequalities, social mobility and identity. The beliefs from well-known theorists, Karl Marx and Max Weber who disagreed on the nature of class, will also be included to support the main points which are
Race, gender and class shapes the experience of all people (Collins and Andersen 4). The authors urge the readers to view these three factors with a perspective; look at their effects on all people not just the ones being oppressed. The simultaneity of race, class and gender in people's lives requires being analyzed as a “matrix of domination"- race, class and gender
Sharon Smith is the established author of Subterranean Fire: A History of Working-Class Radicalism in the United States (Haymarket, 2006) and Women and Socialism: Class, Race, and Capital (revised and updated, Haymarket, 2015). Within this article, Smith explores the concept of Intersectionality throughout history. Intersectionality means to be oppressed in various forms. This is a form of discrimination that African American females encounter, as they are constantly confronted with judgment for both their race and gender. Furthermore, as a population, there is no prescribed legal category, which results in injustice when dealing with social mistreatment. Overall, this double oppression can be equivalently faced from both the oppressed and
The social class has two major approaches to the study in the scholarly literature. The first one is ethnographic and descriptive, and the other is Marxism, which offers a range of perspectives. Smedley describes Marxism as identifying social classes as groups standing in different relationships to the "mode of production" and
Rachel Kushner’s The Flamethrowers displays how the economic status or social rank can indeed affect someone like Reno, who is the main character, but also to the other characters that are surrounded by her. From significant class differences causes this character to experience mental distress and/or serve as a source of tension or conflict with others that is presented as oppression and resistance. This also can be referred by “Marxist Criticism”, which according to the Online Writing Lab at Purdue University, Marxist criticism looks closely at a character’s economic status or social rank and considers the ways in which the socioeconomic system is the ultimate source of a character’s experience.
In this paper, we will analyze Catharine MacKinnon’s work Feminism, Marxism, Method, and the State: An Agenda for Theory, and the unique way in which she tries to form a metaphorical parallel between Marxist theory and relate this to her stance on feminism. She uses this distinctive technique to develop her feminist theory of law. While most would agree that she is very innovative in her approach, we will try to examine the problems with looking at feminism and feminist theory in this manner. While not completely discrediting MacKinnon, the purpose of this paper will be to shed light on the dangers of trying to hijack Marxist theory, stifle it into a corner, and cover it in feminist theory, much like An Agenda for Theory does. We will then look at ways in which we can liberate Marxist theories form MacKinnon’s tight associations and give ideas to help them guide modern feminism as a helpful resource, instead of making it a clear cut metaphorical dictator to truthfully understanding Feminism and feminist theory.
This essay will compare the effectiveness of social division using Karl Marx’s theory of class division and the feminist theory of patriarchy. I will also link this to ethnicity in black feminism and evaluate how relevant these theories are to society today.
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.”