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 distinct differences that are very important to note. Karl Marx’s theory regarding worker alienation and the uneven distribution of capital has the greater number of parallels with today’s society. Marx-
In Marxist theory, human society consists of two parts: the base and superstructure; the base comprehends the forces and relations of production — employer-employee work conditions, the technical division of labour, and property relations — into which people enter to produce the necessities and amenities of life. These relations determine society’s other relationships and ideas, which are described as its superstructure. The superstructure of a society includes its culture, institutions, political power structures, roles, rituals, and state. The base determines (conditions) the superstructure, yet their relation is not strictly causal, because the superstructure often influences the base; the influence of the base, however, predominates. For Marx class relationships are embedded in production relationships; more specifically, in the patterns of ownership and control which characterize these relationships. Marx believed that the bourgeoisie use a mode of production in the form of capitalism to oppress the proletariat, the...
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