Essay about Summary - Weber - Class, Status, Party

851 Words Nov 1st, 2011 4 Pages
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. The article begins by detailing the human desire for social power and how, through class, certain forms of power are achieved. He contends that the pursuit of social power is essentially an attempt to acquire social honour. Weber also mentions that power does not always lead to social honour and uses the notion of the …show more content…
(p. 105) The property owners are often of the upper class and have control of their life situation. In contrast those who own no property are primarily of the lower-middle classes and have little control over their life situation since they must follow certain societal rules put in place by the ruling class (those with the most property/greatest economic status). Weber claims that economic interest is at the forefront of class status as well as social power. Weber goes onto note that in past time periods, mainly the Middle Ages, economic interest was monopolized causing the gap between the rich and poor to be vast (p. 106). The organization of people around specific situations, or class struggles, in fact strengthens class structures, mainly because they reinforce the boundaries. However, he feels that this does not make a class a community since the assumption that people in similar class situations must share similar ideals and beliefs is over-simplifying a complex situation. While class groups do not constitute communities, according to Weber, status groups normally are communities (108). Status is defined as the likelihood that life chances are determined by social honour, or, prestige. Status groups are linked by a common lifestyle, and the shared aspects of social life held to high importance to that status group. Wealth is not necessarily the primary cause of status, though
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