Different Views on Social Class

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Max Weber and Karl Marx have different views on social class. Starting with both of them having different class systems, Karl Marx had his perspective with the social class having a two-class system. Max Weber had his view where there are three dimensions of stratification with social class. Class, status, and party are the three dimensions of Weber’s perspective with social class.

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Manual working class, the petty bourgeoisie, propertyless intelligentsia, and propertied upper class are the categories that Weber divided underclass. The class that’s placed on the top is the propertied upper class. People in that class own political influence, social status, and economic power.

A professional class is a propertyless intelligentsia. The reason why they are professional is that in the labor market they have a higher position. Property less intelligentsia also has ownership stocks and shares than propertied upper class. Next one down is petty bourgeoisie; these people are small business owners. They have less of everything, political influence, social status, and property ownership. The last one on the chart is the manual working class. Since they are the last one on the chart, they have a deficiency of owning property, and in the labor market, they have a position lower than people in the propertyless intelligentsia. (Holton, 1989)

Weber then made up the “middle class” where it brought together petty bourgeoisie and propertyless intelligentsia. Marx analyzed polarization by the way he classified the classes. After that Weber didn’t see any proof to help Marx’s idea of polarization. Even though there were decreases in numbers of the small property owners because of rivalry from huge companies, Weber claimed that they enter propertyless intelligentsia instead of being put on the bottom of the chart. (Haralambos and Holborn, 2000). As a result of the “middle class” is now where most people are in, dissimilarity into the theory of Marx’s polarization.

Marx put into consideration that social class is set on by the possession and non-possession of the “means of production.” Means of production means if you own something, for example, a factory or a big business, then you are expected to be in the wealthy class, the bourgeoisie. Also, the manual workers who are known as the proletariat would be the people working for the bourgeoisie.
Marx thought private ownership of economic funds is a crucial element of telling apart the two classes. Although Weber concurred with Marx’s view on the two classes that they exist, Weber advocated that people’s class place is formed not easily on if they own a factory, farm, or big business. Weber also said it should base on how their situation is with the market.

Once Weber thought about Marx’s theory on social class, he brought up the three dimensions: social, status, and party (Haralambos and Holborn, 2000). On Weber’s aspect of the class, it acts for the economic situation. Status works for social privilege and esteem. Party serves for the social power.

Weber’s model is more comprehensive and most often used by sociologists today. The reason why is because Weber’s idea is more detailed than Marx’s thought on social class. The three dimensions Weber made are well defined entitles, that’s why it couldn’t classify into one concept of a class of Marx’s idea.

To finish up Weber’s view on social class expanded and got better within Marx’s view on social class in a bigger scale. They both had great reasoning onto their ideas with the social class. To this day even though we mostly use Weber’s view, Marx’s thought on social class influenced Weber’s belief that he thought.

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Different Views On Social Class. (2019, Nov 07). Retrieved November 26, 2022 , from

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