Grossmont College Karl Marx and Max Weber Differences on Social Stratification Essay

Question Description

I’m working on a Sociology exercise and need support.

Write 2 paragraphs explaining the differences between Karl Marx and Max Weber explanation of social stratification. (10 points)

Your answers to the questions must be of substantial quality in order to get points. Substantial quality includes a demonstration that you have completed the required readings and videos and thought critically about them. Your answers must be original, use your own ideas and words. Do not copy from any website or written material from another person.

Here are the resources:

Karl Marx

The giants of the European traditions were Emile Durkheim, Karl Marx, and Max Weber. Durkheimviewed society as an entity larger than the sum of its parts (society sui generis). His work focused on how public rituals and belief systems created social solidarity, and on how a social system could be known through the discovery and analysis of social facts—those social patterns that are external to individuals. Karl Marx considered society to be shaped by economic forces and analyzed capitalism as a system of class relationships. Max Weber developed a multidimensional analysis of society, integrating political, economic, and cultural dimensions.

Review the following summary of Karl Marx sociological Ideas:


Read section 1 of the Communist Manifesto (Links to an external site.). Some sociologists claim that sociology is a conversation with the ghost of Karl Marx. In other words, Marx is the point of departure for many sociologists and sociological ideas. Marx’s ideas are at the foundation of what is today the Conflict Theory. However, many sociologists have spent their career trying to demonstrate that Marx was wrong in his view of society and social change. You are challenged in this course to make your own mind regarding Marx and Marxism.

Max Weber

Max Weber is the most influential sociologists of all times. He developed a multidimensional analysis of society, integrating political, economic, and cultural dimensions. He also developed the concept of verstehen as a method for understanding social behavior from the point of view of those engaged in it. He defined social action as a behavior to which people give meaning.

Review the following summary of Weber’s key sociological ideas.

Max Weber.docx

Watch the following short videos about the sociology of Max Weber:

Social Stratification

Social Differentiation and Social Stratification

  • Status, as defined earlier, is a socially defined position in a group or society.
  • Social differentiation is the process by which different statuses in any group,
    organization, or society develop.
  • Social stratification – the relatively fixed, hierarchical arrangement in society by
    which groups have different access to resources, power, and perceived social
    worth, is categorized into three types: estate, caste, and class systems.
  • Most societies seem to have a system of social stratification, although they vary in the degree and complexity of stratification.

Estate, Caste, and Class

  • In estate systems of stratification, the ownership of property and the exercise of power are monopolized by an elite who have total control over societal resources. Most common in agricultural societies..Have been largely supplanted by industrialization.
  • In caste systems, one’s place in the stratification system is an ascribed status, assigned at birth. The hierarchy of classes is rigid and is often preserved through formal law and cultural practices that prevent free association and movement between classes. Examples include apartheid in South Africa until 1992, Jim Crow segregation in the American South, and the traditional caste system of India.
  • In class systems, status is partially achieved, with some potential for movement from one class to another. In the U.S. class system, the class a person is born into has major consequences for that person’s life. Social class (or class) is the social structural position groups hold relative to the economic, social, political, and cultural resources of society. Class determines the access different people have to these resources and puts people in different positions of privilege and disadvantage. Members of the same class share a common way of life. Max Weber describes this as life chances.
  • Max Weber described the consequences of stratification in terms of life
    chances—opportunities that people have in common by virtue of belonging to a
    particular class. He sees class as a feature of society. Class is a structural phenomenon; it cannot be directly observed, although objects with designated labels can become symbols of status. A prominent indicator of class is income; other common indicators are education, occupation, and place of residence.
  • Thorstein Veblen described the class habits of Americans as conspicuous

Karl Marx: Class and Capitalism – Karl Marx (1818-1883) defined classes in terms of their relationship to the means of production, including the capitalist class supported by the petty bourgeoisie, and the working class, including the lumpenproletariat or unnecessary workers (the underclass of today). Marx’s analysis, which focuses on the consequences of a system based on the pursuit of profit, predicted intensified class struggle or conflict. While he failed to anticipate the growth of the middle class, his analysis still provides a powerful portrayal of the tendency in capitalism, as the infrastructure of society, for wealth to belong to a few, while the majority work only to make ends meet. It is the ideology of the ruling class that supports the status quo of the system.

Max Weber: Class, Status, and Party – Max Weber (1864-1920) took a multidimensional view of social stratification that focused on the connections between economic, cultural, and political systems through the three dimensions of class, status, and party.

Functionalism and Conflict Theory: The analyses of Marx and Weber have not answered fully the question of why inequality exists. Functionalism views inequality as essential to the preservation of society characterized by cohesion, consensus, cooperation, stability, and persistence. Social inequality motivates people to fill the different positions in society that are needed for the survival of the whole. Conflict theory views social stratification as a system of domination and subordination based on class conflict and blocked opportunity. Inequality reflects the class interests of the powerful and has negative consequences for society. The assumptions made from each perspective frame public policy

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