Max Weber On Social Class

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Social class is difficult to grasp but being able to look at two different theorist’s views, narrows down the outlook of the stratification within societies. Through the exploration of Max Weber, a prominent theorist in the 19th century and another prominent theorist in Karl Marx, we see their varying views on social class within society. It is interesting to see the way these two theorists see society in similar lights but they view the nature of class very differently. This essay will look into an outline of both Weber and Marx’s conceptions and examine the manner of these views of social class in the society. With this knowledge, there will be a conclusion drawn about how there may be similarities but there are differences in their final…show more content…
As we open Weber’s theory there were three areas of importance within the stratification of society. He looks at economic power, similar to Marx, but also adds in social status and party to this determination. With the three of these determinants, there becomes multiple possible positions within society in contrast to Marx and his ‘bipolar model’ (Giddens, 2013:486). Weber found more than the mere economic. He found this to be,”” naked” money power” and felt it did not recognise a basis to people’s social honour in society. (Gane,, 2001:215) With these two conceptions coming from a similar starting point, that social class is founded on that economic power within society. Weber expands on it to more than means of production. He looks at the types of work people gave and how this can influence their position in society. He defines class as a group of individuals who share a similar position in market economy and by virtue of that fact receive similar economic rewards. For example, professionals will earn more and benefit within their working conditions compared to unskilled workers who work for minimal wage and usually with not the best working…show more content…
This relates to the common aims people have in a group, such as a political party alliance. This in weber’s view was an “important aspect of power” (Giddens, 2013:486) Some parties however are hidden, such as a protestant ethnic group. This group is there for religious reasons and Weber found this establishment and power in-fact aided the development of capitalism, within society. Parties are inevitably based on class and status already stated. Weber saw a relationship between the three. Gerth and Mills (1958) showed how weber stated, ‘parties may represent interests determined through “class situation” or “status situation” and they may recruit their following, respectively, from one or the other.’ (weber, 1958:194) He showed the way these determents of stratification over lapped into how people were grouped off and the outcome was not a clear-cut conclusion. Looking at Weber’s conceptions as a whole we can see the three components fit into different stratifications. With Class looking at the economic power someone holds, status looks at their lifestyles within society and party shows the struggle for power between groups, political or other. But with these three components together they all look at the larger picture and within society no one is confined to a specific

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