“In the world we now live, divisions into class are meaningless. We are all working people now.”(Margaret Thatcher in 1988) The discussion that if Britain is becoming a classless society last for a long time. Britain was a typical manufacturing country because of industrial revolution in 18 century. Then the class structure of Britain was changed due to the globalization and economic system which changed from industrial to service during 19th and 20th century. In this easy, we focus on the change of social class in Britain. It will begin with the theories (Marxism, Weber theory and functionalism) of social class .Following this, it will look at the changes of social class. Finally, it will discuss weather the class of Britain will be dead. Theories of social class
There are three basic theories which can explain social class in the sociology history. Marxism was established by Karl Marx(1813-1883).Marx explained that a social class is a group of people who have common relationship to the means of production. For Marx (2008:26), society was characterizes by two social groups: bourgeoisie (ruling class) and proletariat (subject class).He argued that bourgeoisie have power ownership and control production (land, capital, labor power and machinery) while proletarian means people who have no choice but to sell their labor to the ruling class. Marx argued that a social group can be called a class when it becomes a ‘class for itself’. At this stage, its members have class consciousness and class solidarity. For example, manual workers realize they are exploited so that they get together to fight for their power then they becoming the working class. He pointed out that class struggle was the driving force of social change. Marx (1997:48) believes that the development of capitalism based on accumulating capital, laying the foundations for industrial manufacture. He believed that the communist society which will replace capitalism would be no contradictions and conflicts. However, huge changes were essential before realize this blue print. Weberian theory is the idea from Max Weber (1864-1920), which represent one of the most important developments in stratification. Weber considers that social stratification was caused by a struggle for rarely resources in society. He believed that a person’s ‘class situation’ is basically their market situation. For example, although teachers and doctors all belong to the middle class, we can divide them into different group from the differences of their occupation characters and economy return. By contrast, Weber have different opinion from Marx on a number of important issues. Coming to the first one is that Weber argued people can be divided into many different group depends in the market value of the skills and economic return. Besides, web believes that the class is diversification and class expands rather than a polarization. thirdly, web rejected the view that inevitability of proletarian revolution which hold by Marx. Finally, Web points the power of politicians not only from economy but also many other element such as income, occupation. Functionalism is another theory in sociology. It is presented by US functionalist sociologists Davis and Moore(1945).For Davis and Moore, social stratification existed as an institutionalized form because society ensure that the most qualified people occupied the most important position. Besides, they also believe that social stratification is essential for the operation of society. For example, doctors are functionally more important than nurses since doctor carries more skills than the nurse. (1997:4) Besides, they also believe that social stratification make an essential contribution to the operation of social system.(1999:249)Thus, different social institution should have various function and position. Changes in the British social class
Changes in the occupational structure.
Nowadays, economic system is changing from manufacturing to service...
References: Bilton, T. Bonnett, K. Jones, P. Lawson, T. Skinner, D. Stanworth, M. Stephnes, P. Webster, A. 2002,Introductory Sociology. 4th edn. NewYork: Palgrave Macmillan.
Cohen,R. and Kennedy,P. 2007, Global Sociology, 2ndedn, New York University
Hyman,U. Jjary,D. and Jary,J. 1991, Dictionary of Sociology, 2nd edn, Harper Collins Publisher
Bryan S.Turner.1999.Classical sociology.1st edn,SAGE Publications Ltd
John, J. Macionis. Plummer, K. 2002. Sociology. 2nd edn. Person Education Limited.
Pakulski, J. Waters, M. 1996. The Death of Class. Sage Publications Ltd
Please join StudyMode to read the full document