Outline and Assess the Weberian Theory of Social Class Stratification

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Max weber was strongly influenced my Marx’s ideas, but rejected the possibility of communism, arguing that it would require an even greater level of social control and bureaucratization (tendency to manage an organization by adding more controls) than capitalist society. Weber also critized the presumption of proteriat revolution, believing it to be unlikely. Weber defined social classes as clusters of occupations with similar life chances and patterns of mobility, meaning peoples opportunities are able to move up or down the occupational ladder. Weber divided society into four different social classes. Firstly, those privileged through property or education. Secondly the petty-bourgeoisie (the self-employed and managers), then the white-collar worker technicians which is the lower middles class. Lastly, the manual workers, being the lower class. These four different groups are Weber’s way of defining class in terms of market position. Weber believed it was linked to the type of job people could get, Weber thought differently to Marx about this, as marx believed it was due to owning factories or other resources, and weber thought it was due to skills and qualifications. Weber’s idea of class influenced the ideas of other sociologists, such as goldthorpe (1980). Goldthorpe derived a stratification scale which includes the Weberian concept of market position. This was felt by sociologists to be a more accurate technique of studying stratification, as a pose to just studying peoples jobs. Weber was skeptical about the possibility of the working class bonding together for revolutionary purposes, for example becoming class-conscious because of differences in status would always undermine any common cause. Social classes were too internally divided into competing status groups, and this undermined potential for common group identity and action. The concept of status
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