As a society we should ask ourselves why we think this way, and whether there is another possible way of explaining our current situation. In contrast to this social stratification theory, we can examine the class theory of Karl Marx, who defines "class" in a completely different way. Marx proposed that there are only two classes in capitalist society, owners of capital (elite), and producers of capital (popular masses). Marx believed these are by nature involved in a basic and historical conflict.
The proponents of each theory are attempting to make a model of society in an attempt to understand the inequalities between individuals in that society; however, they differ in approach. The proponents of social stratification theory hold that inequality derives from the differing abilities of the members of society, and that societies need to put their most qualified individuals into the most vital positions, which earn them greater rewards. The proponents of Marx's class theory state that the relationship between the two basic classes is historical and based on exploitation of one class by another, and that the current capitalist system, having grown out the feudal system by means of the... [continues]
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