Weber: Class, Status & Party

1065 Words5 Pages
According to Max Weber, “class”, or what he termed as “class situation”, was characterized by the following: “(1) a number of people have in common a specific causal component of their life chance, insofar as (2) this component is represented exclusively by economic interests in the possession of goods and opportunities for income, and (3) is represented under the conditions of the commodity or labor markets.”(161). In this case, the “specific casual component” that Weber is referring to is wealth, which then results in the ownership of property. Consequently, giving the wealthy an opportunity to gain “capital” and acquire control over the least fortunate. Weber did a good job at providing examples to show how this came about. He mentioned traders not being able to hold on to their goods so they were able to negotiate better prices. Instead, they had to take whatever little money they could get because of their need to survive. This then would result in the wealthy traders having the upper hand and controlling the markets (162). A contemporary example of this would be my EBay business. I purchase coveted limited-edition items and post my listings until the other EBay sellers have ran out of stock. Since I do not have the need to sell my items right away, I am able to control the selling price of the items and this makes me maximum profit. Moving on, Weber also mentioned how people with no property had only their labor to offer in exchange for goods, putting the needs of the deprived in the hands of the wealthy, yet again (162). Finally, it is important to note that Weber does not look at class structure as upper, middle, lower, and so forth. Instead, he focuses on the ownership of property and most importantly, how people use it as a tool to get to the top and have jurisdiction over the markets, and thus over the poor. Moving on, Weber refers to “status” as being
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