Essay on Marx and Weber Social Class

1160 Words Nov 17th, 2008 5 Pages
Most societies throughout history and the world have developed a notion of social class. It is refers to hierarchical distinctions between individuals or groups within society. How these social classes have been determined has been a common topic among social scientists throughout time. Two individuals who have headed this long standing debate are Karl Marx and Max Weber. In this paper I will be summarizing Marx and Weber’s theories on social class; how they are determined, their interests, and problems that may exist among groups. I will then provide my own critiques of their arguments.
Marx first sets up his arguments on class by referring to the historical class struggles. “Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf,
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They want better job security, improved wages, and inexpensive consumer goods. The only way to achieve this goal would be to revolt, forcing things to change. The problem lies within their subjective class interests which is on a more personal level. The members of the working class believe the bourgeoisie is acting in their best interests and to achieve financial well being they just need to continue to work hard, competing with one another.
Some positives of Marx argument is the idea of class exploitation. He believes the proletariat should revolt due to the working conditions that are forced upon them due to the goals of the bourgeoisie. He refers to this struggle as the oppressed and the oppressor. This common historical theme of the oppressed and oppressor is covered thoroughly in his argument and he uses a good economical model to show this struggle. In this case it is the working class vs. the owners. This type of societal dynamic can be mapped out in most societies. It can be the parent vs. the child, boss vs., worker, coach vs. player, teacher vs. student or any other situation in which one may feel oppressed by another. Marx ideas of class interest is a good basis of social protest and provides the ability to fight exploitation.
An obvious negative part of his argument is the simplistic idea of class. He places everyone within two categories and this isn’t so easy. There is an example of

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