However, what happens when the roles of the classes turn? This is Karl Marx predicts within his book The Communist Manifesto. The proletariats are the class considered to be the working class, right below the bourgeoise in terms of economic gain. Karl Marx discusses the number ratio between the two classes and discloses the fact that the proletariat outnumber the bourgeoise. Within the class is a sense of belonging, the bourgeoise live their lavish lives and have most of the say so when it comes to power. Most laws and regulations work in the favor of the bourgeoise class, while the working proletariat class is the class of struggle. This is where it ties into man’s self-alienation. Marx’s idea that the working man has alienated himself from humanity by becoming a machine of society, no longer being able to think for himself but rather only thinking of survival and mass production. By focusing on production for the bourgeoise, man is unable to relate to himself or others around him. He is alienated in the fact that he no longer belongs to a community but more so to a factory. This is beneficial to the bourgeoise because they would not have to fear the alliance of the workers against them if each worker felt isolated from one another. Karl Marx describes within his book the overview idea of the working man as a tool for production, a machine himself, isolated
Marx begins by writing, “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles. (Jones, 219)” The existing society was divided between the Bourgeoisie and the Proletariat, as I stated before. The Bourgeoisie consisted of the social class who owns the means of production. The Proletariat consisted of wage-laborers who have no means of production of their own and they are reduced to selling their labor power in order to live (Jones 219). As you can see the bourgeoisie had the upper hand because they were the people who were mainly in charge of the proletariat. Marx believed that the
Sociology is the study of how social forces influence individuals living within a society. Any society is made of norms, values and beliefs that have the effect of constraining individuals’ thoughts and behaviors. Through understanding and sociological imagination, individuals can remove or at least lessen the social forces’ impacts that are causing the constraints.
Marx perceives society made up as two classes, the powerful and exploitive higher class known as the bourgeoisie and the industrial wage earners that must earn their living by selling their labor known as the proletariat. The bourgeoisie is known as the private property owners and the proletariat works for the bourgeoisie. There is an inequality between these two
Marx viewed society as a conflict between two classes in competition for material goods. He looked at the history of class conflicts and determined that the coming of the industrial age was what strengthened the capitalist revolution. Marx called the dominant class in the capitalist society the bourgeoisie and the laborers the proletariat. The bourgeoisie owned or controlled the means of production, exploited laborers, and controlled the goods produced for its own needs. He believed that the oppressed class of laborers was in a position to organize itself against the dominating class. He felt that it was the course of nature, that is, it is the way that society evolves and that the communist society would be free of class conflict, "the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all." (Marx & Engels 1948, 37)
Sociology and sociological thinking are a vital part of society, and through examining both society and individuals, sociology is able to make changes to areas such as policies, and attitudes that may have usually negatively affected them, and instead gained a positive result through the careful research, and applied knowledge.
Karl Marx developed his theory on class division by suggesting that all societies have two major classes, a ruling class and a subject class. The ruling class owned a means of production such as land or capital, whereas the subject class did not. Marx argued that this leads to the ruling class exploiting the subject class. The ruling class use a superstructure of the legal and political systems to justify its position and prevent protests by the subject class. In capitalist societies the main classes are the bourgeoisie (capitalist) and the proletariat (working class). In these societies the bourgeoisie exploits the working class through wage labour. The capitalists pay wages to the workers, but make a profit because they pay the workers less than the value of what they produce. Capitalism is the newest type of class society but it will also be the last. Eventually it will be replaced by a communist society in which the means of production
Marx's ideas on labor value are very much alive for many organizations working for social change. In addition, it is apparent that the gap between the rich and poor is widening on a consistent basis. According to Marx, the course of human history takes a very specific form which is class struggle. The engine of change in history is class opposition. Historical epochs are defined by the relationship between different classes at different points in time. It is this model that Marx fleshes out in his account of feudalism's passing in favor of bourgeois capitalism and his prognostication of bourgeois capitalism's passing in favor of proletarian rule. These changes are not the reliant results of random social, economic, and political events; each follows the other in predictable succession. Marx responds to a lot of criticism from an imagined bourgeois interlocutor. He considers the charge that by wishing to abolish private property, the communist is destroying the "ground work of all personal freedom, activity, and independence". Marx responds by saying that wage labor does not properly create any property for the laborer. It only creates capital, a property which works only to augment the exploitation of the worker. This property, this capital, is based on class antagonism. Having linked private property to class hostility, Marx
Marx also defines how the bourgeoisie class is the ones being exploited because they are the working class. One of the arguments Marx makes is, “the bourgeoisie has through its exploitation of the world-market given a cosmopolitan character to production and consumption in every country (Marx, 476).” This quote is a clear example of how capitalism cannot not be separated from exploitation.
Quite clearly, Marx is concerned with the organization of society. He sees that the majority of society, more specifically, the proletariat, are living in sub-human conditions. Marx also sees that the bourgeoisie have a disproportionate amount of property and power, and because of that, they abuse it. He writes of how the current situation with the bourgeoisie and proletariat developed. "The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles." There has always been struggles the between two classes, an upper and lower class. However, Marx speaks of the current order saying,
I thought the concept of sociology referred to how people socialize in communities. Little did I know that sociology study all aspects of life, including how society and people affect each other positively or negatively. I also did not know that sociology looks at what makes people exhibit behaviours that may deviate from the set norms and values of society.
As capitalist societies expanded, Marx argued that exploitation amongst workers became more apparent. Marx believed that the only way to get rid of the exploitation, oppression and alienation was for a revolution amongst the proletariat workers. Marx suggests that it is only when the means of production are communally owned, that class divisions among the masses will disappear.
Although the relationship between the classes was based highly on economic standards set by society, Marx described the class relationships as social exploitation rather than an object of the labor market.5 Marx’s class relationship is described “in these two ways the worker becomes a slave to his object: firstly he receives an object of labor, that is he receives labor, and secondly, he receives the means of subsistence.”6 Marx believed that the Bourgeoisie would eventually lose its power to the working class, which would rebel against its exploitation and eventually bring about the creation of a middle class.
Though Marx views the communist revolution as an unavoidable outcome of capitalism, his theory stipulates that the proletariat must first develop class consciousness, or an understanding of its place within the economic superstructure. If this universal character of the proletariat does not take shape, then the revolution cannot be accomplished (1846: 192). This necessary condition does not pose a problem within Marx’s theoretical framework, as the formation of class consciousness is inevitable in Marx’s model of society. His writings focus on the idea that economic production determines the social and political structure (1846, 1859). For Marx, social class represents a person’s relation to the means of production, a relation that he believes is independent of
Human societies have been class based in some way and the class factor has been the most basic dividing or differentiating factor between broad social groups. In the economic sphere that Marx’s theory focuses on, there is a class that own and control means of economic production which could be referred to as the upper class, and there is the class that maybe own nothing, but their ability to sell their labor power in return for wages which could be referred to as the middle or low class. From that understanding, and based on the conflict theory, one might argue that unequal distribution of resources and access