However, social inequality is still a nagging problem in many societies around the world, which is yet to be addressed and resolved. This work aims to focus on three important theoretical perspectives on social class; Marxism, Weber and Functionalism.
Marx’s idea of social class can be traced back to the publication of his principles in the Communist Manifesto which was created in collaboration with Friedrich Engles. Ferrante notes that according to Marx’s manifesto, industrialisation and mechanisation resulted in a change in the labour process, and this led to the formation of a class divide between individuals who claimed ownership of the means of production and the working class who had no control over the means of production (161). The ones who owned are called “the bourgeoisie” and the working class is called “the proletariat”. Browne opines that if the bourgeoisie are the people who own the means of production, they also are the people who own key resources which are essential for fulfilling society’s demand for goods and services (400). In accordance with the Marxist perspective, this situation leads to the accumulation of profits in the hands of the bourgeoisie. When these profits are not shared with the working class, the differences in wealth grow. This situation promotes social inequality because of sizeable differences in assets, finances, income and wealth (Browne 401). An interesting aspect of Marx’s theory of social class is that as bourgeoisies enjoy superior social standing, they have the opportunity to impose their views and decisions on other members of society. The result of this phenomenon is that it puts the proletariat in a state of ‘false consciousness’ in which they are unable to understand their own true interests (Browne 401).
On the other hand, Weber’s view on social class claims that an individual’s position in the social class system is decided by various
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