American Dream

Topics: Sociology, Marxism, Social class Pages: 13 (4389 words) Published: December 1, 2012
Capitalism and its values revolve around material possessions and their acquisition. In this society, the poor man strives to be rich, and a powerless man to gain power. Many of these people however don't have access to these privileges, and so to be one of the few taking the limited seats of wealth and power they compete, most often times against each other. Such environments are not only often times promote conflict but confrontation as well, and many times the winners of these altercations are relishing in "The American Dream" While capitalism promotes the belief that this dream is achievable, it is more often than not, a literal dream, and leaves its pursuers poor, and weak. This keeps the working class powerless, and pacified to propagate capitalistic values. Clean cut examples of this are cases in such societies where people do not have the chance to advance but have the chance to succeed. A strange position that seems to contradict a culture that's "Dream" is to be powerful and wealthy at he top of the ladder. Many people in these positions only perceive themselves to be succeeding but in actuality, they are failing at achieving what they most desire, and not

Karl Marx (1818-1883) was a German philosopher and economist, who was not a self-proclaimed sociologist. Although Marx did not consider himself a sociologist, he had a profound impact on historical and contemporary sociological thought. Max Weber (1864-1920) was a German

sociologist and scientist who also had a profound impact on sociology. Both of these men will continue to be in Sociological teachings for many years to come. Weber had a major influence on the Conflict Theory.

The Conflict Theory is one of the major sociological models for understanding the social world. The Conflict Theory has three components: The first component is that conflict is a common and ongoing feature of society. In fact conflict is the most basic feature of social life. The second component is that society is made-up of various social groups who have conflicting values and interests. Finally, the third component states that all societal conflict occurs between dominant and subordinate social groups who are in competition over resources. The "conflict perspective", was developed in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and is primarily associated with both Karl Marx and Max Weber

Karl Marx used two groups in the conflict theory. The Capitalist class owns and controls the means of production, while they also see the distribution of the goods or services. The Capitalist class is also known as the dominant group. His second class, the working class, are the people who provide the labor necessary to produce the goods and services. The dominant Group is the capitalists and the subordinate group is the working class. Max Weber also asserted that society is an "arena" of conflict and struggle" over resources between dominant and subordinate groups. But unlike Marx, Weber argues that there are many "status" groups in a society which possess varying degrees of social power. So according to Weber there are many groups, unlike Marx who believed there were two groups, the capitalist and the working group.

Weber believed that power played a role in politics, ethnicity, gender, and religion.

We in America and else where have dominant and subordinate groups. The dominant groups have power and wealth while the subordinate groups are just working class citizens contributing to the wealth of the capitalists. But this is a capitalist society so who can expect anything different. As I stated earlier, the basis of Marx perspective is true. But Weber's perspective is obviously true as well as more specific. They are basically powerless and apart of many subordinate groups.

The American Dream is a national ethos of the United States, a set of ideals in which freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success, and an upward social mobility...
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