Karl Marx's Monolithic Theory Of Class

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Karl Marx introduced the theory of class struggle during the industrialisation period that emphasised on one’s financial status. However in this contemporary society, Marx’s monolithic theory fails to encompass other aspects of social life. Building upon Marx’s theory of class struggle, Pierre Bourdieu sets out to rethink the factors involved in the stratification of classes. The addition of cultural capital to economic capital was amongst the many capitals Bourdieu suggested in determining the class of an individual in this society where ‘capital’ is interpreted as a “set of actually usable resources and power” (Bourdieu, 1979, p.114) that allows one to invest and gain returns. Economic capital is wealth and income one accumulates, while cultural…show more content…
However, in this current capitalist society, education and healthcare services are not spared from commodification and being sold at a constructed value. Possessing substantial amount of cultural capital that could empower individuals in achieving excellent results will be unsuccessful if one has insufficient economic capital. As mentioned above, schools capitalized cultural capital to refine it into knowledge, but different schools refined it differently, and students who are in elite schools tends to score significantly higher in academic (Marteleto and Andrade, 2013). High financial stability families gain advantage in accessing high status institutions (Jerrim, Chmielewski & Parker, 2015) and “economically advantaged students are more likely to enrol in highly-selective colleges” (Ra, 2011) results in a high concentration of high socioeconomic status students in elite schools, emphasised that socioeconomic status affects school’s choice of its students. The choice of school saliently demonstrates that having high economic capital influences the quality of acquired knowledge on the education journey. Another study mentioned above on the group of doctorate degree recipients, proves that they rose up in the education aspect despite having low economic capital is only possible after they build up their economic capital through various means, e.g. institutional support, employment, loans (Castillo, 2014). Economic capital not only limits an individual’s accessibility to schools, the standard of cultural capital being refined into academic achievements is limited by recognition and appreciation in lower quality schools (Jæger, 2011). The lack of economic capital resulted in having low accessibility to education is equivalent for healthcare services. Medication is essential when sickness befalls, but access to prescription through
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