Outline and Assess the Marxist views on Social Inequality (40)
One view Marxist sociologists have on social inequality is that we live in a society controlled by the Tri-level structure where the Bourgeoisie oppress the Proletariat by controlling the means of production and the manual labour they contribute to the capitalist society. Marxists seek to explain the economic inequalities and the relationship of the individual to the economic structure of society; however the lower the level of success, the more economic inequality will occur as the Proletariat is continuously oppressed by the Bourgeoisie as the source of their control is economics. Marxists believe that society is further polarizing the ‘rich’ and the ‘poor’ with the ‘uppers’ gaining and the ‘downers’ left to suffer (Mount, 2004), and this will eventually lead to the diminishing of what is known as the middle class who will fall into the catergory of the Proletariat as their jobs become deskilled (Braverman, 1974). This is critiqued by Functionalists Davis and Moore (1945) as they argue that pay is related to talent and that the most important jobs are secured by the most able individuals who are paid appropriately high wages. These ideas in turn lead to the concept of meritocracy, a functionalist theory which suggests that we live in a society where access to social rewards is determined by talent and achievement rather than an individual’s social background. Therefore, Marxist oppose the idea that the less privileged in society are able to break free from their economic position in regards to ‘talent’ and that the tri-level structure within society is a prominent fixture that controls the way our society is viewed and understood. A second view that Marxist have on social inequality is that the agents of socialization promote the ruling class. This can be seen in regards to education where the advantaged in society could safeguard their position as the disadvantaged could not break free from...
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