Marx and Weber's Theories of Class Structure in Modern Society

Topics: Social class, Marxism, Bourgeoisie Pages: 7 (2195 words) Published: April 13, 2012
Karl Marx has given us the most influential overview of how industrialization has affected the modern social formations. According to his industrialization gave us two new classes, which had evolved from the old feudal society. The bourgeoisie and the proletariat (Bradley, 2006: 134-135).

The bourgeoisie in England, the new economically dominant class. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, they tried to strengthen its social and political power. At the local level, they obtained the power in many villages, especially north of the country. They did this through by starting schools and leisure facilities to the people. At the national level, they tried to challenge the old power group, the aristocracy. With the political reforms they tried to take from them the benefits they had gained through having had the political power. Especially important was the fact that, corn law that kept the price of agricultural commodities artificially high, and thus protected landowners from the free market, was abolished. In political terms, was not dissolved landowner class, but the bourgeoisie was to share power with them (Bradley, 2006: 135).

Proletariat or working class, is the second class in modern society formations, according to Marx. Deprived of the opportunity to produce their own livelihoods, they were forced to sell all they possess, their labor, in order to survive. According to Marx, the relationship between these classes both that they were dependent on each other and hostile to each other. Workers needed for the bourgeoisie to find them work, and the bourgeoisie needed workers for a profit. But the relationship was an inherent conflict because of the exploitative nature of these financial arrangements contained (Bradley, 2006: 135).

Like many other community comments from the nineteenth century, Marx thought that the pay no workers were paid, did not represent the value of the goods they created through their work. Through parts of their working hours, a worker producing goods corresponding to a value of their existence will cost. The rest of their working time, the goods they produce, represent additional value. Parts of this value was taken by the bourgeoisie, in the form of profit. It can be argued that the bourgeoisie, to take a risk investments and take the initiative to create jobs, deserve the profits. It is an important argument used by many today. Marx, however, believes that there are workers whose work produces goods that are entitled to these profits. But the payroll system, where you get paid a day's job, not based on the effort you put down, hides the fact that the workers are taken from the profits of their work. This was what Marx meant by the exploitative nature of these financial arrangements contained. It was also in the interests of the bourgeoisie and increase their profits, to either cut the salaries of workers or get them to increase their production, without getting a higher salary (Bradley, 2006: 135-136).

Marx believed that when the working class began to understand how they were exploited, and saw how unfair the system was, they would try to change it. They shared experiences and awareness of exploitation will be the basis for a whole class, which will stand up and dissolution of this economic system, replacing it with a fairer system where workers controlled the profits (Bradley, 2006. 136).

Marx recognized the existence of multiple classes of society, but they seemed unimportant compared to the great struggle for power that we have described over here. Max Weber, however, wrote about the social importance of what are now described as the new middle class. These are variations of the groups of officials, from office workers to teachers, and leaders. Weber noted that the large growth of bureaucracy, led to a high increase in this new middle class. As the working class, this class was also quite maktløs, in the fact that they owned what they produced, but had to sell his own labor....
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