Karl Marx And Max Weber 's Theory Of Social Stratification Essay

934 Words Feb 8th, 2016 4 Pages
Social stratification is a phenomenon, which is present through many generations. It is universal and is one of the attributes of the society that is defined as “the process through which power, privilege and prestige is unevenly distributed, patterned and perpetuated within a social organization”(Olsen 1978). Many sociologists and theorists are interested in understanding the concept of social stratification. This essay will be discussing the different perspectives of inequality of the two most acknowledged sociologists of 19th century, Karl Marx and Max Weber. Moreover, it will analyze which of these theories are more relevant with the contemporary world. I will be first examining the viewpoint of Marx and then would be analyzing Weber’s take on this. Marx, a conflict theorist, bases his analysis of social stratification on the ownership of the means of production. This leads to the concept of classes, which according to him, are of two types. As he states in Communist Manifesto; “society as a whole is more and more splitting up into two great hostile camps, into two great classes directly facing each other: Bourgeoisie and Proletariat” (Karl, 1978). He describes Bourgeoisie as the ruling class and proletariat as the working class. For him classes emerge from struggles in capitalist society, which means that the access to and control of factors of production define one’s social class. Marx believes that people who have the means exploit the working class in order to…

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