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Lecture 3

SOC263H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Traditional Authority, Charismatic Authority, Petite Bourgeoisie

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Anna C Korteweg

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Lecture 3: Class and Social Inequality
Documentary: From People Like Us
First impressions of people are important and indicate their social class within society.
The clothes people wear are often used as an instant classification of class. This is a
stereotypical view of class, just because an individual is dressed poorly doesn’t mean
he/she is poor.
Karl Marx and Class
Social Class:
a) Based in productive relations
b) Relational
Types of classes:
a) Owners of land, capital,
b) Labor Power: labor is work and labor power is the capacity to work. The only real power
that the proletariat has under capitalism is the power to choose where to work.
c) Bourgeoisie: those who own the means of the production
d) Petit Bourgeoisie: those who own the products of their labor and who do not exploit the
labor power of others. These people are self-employed and are referred to as the old
middle class.
e) Proletariat: who have no choice but to sell their labor power ( the capacity to work) to
the bourgeoisie in order to survive
Max Weber and Class
Class situation
1. The working class as a whole
2. The petite bourgeoisie
3. Property less intellectuals
4. Classes privileged by property or education
Life chances and social class
“Class, Status, Party”
Power and Domination
Power is every possibility within a social relationship of imposing one’s own will, even against
Domination is a specific power relation in which “regular patterns of inequality are established
whereby the subordinate group (or individual) accepts that position in a sustained arrangement,
obeying the commands of the dominant group.
Forms of Authority: Three pure types of legitimate domination
a) Traditional authority is a dominating relationship based on the acceptance that those
in charge should be in charge because of traditional right.
b) Legal authority in which subordinates accept the legal right of those in charge.
c) Charismatic authority it refers to the situation in which leaders have control of others
because of the leaders’ appeal or charm.
Contemporary Revisions
Erik Olin Wright
Updating Marx for today:
Relationship to means of production remains central
Concepts: Authority and Skill
Authority involves domination
Theory of Exploitation:
1. The inverse interdependence principle: the material welfare of one group of people
causally depends upon the material deprivations of another.
2. The exclusion principle: the inverse interdependence in (a) depends upon the
exclusion of the exploited from access to certain productive resources, usually backed
by property rights.
3. The appropriation principle: exclusion generates material advantage to exploiters
because it enables them to appropriate the labor effort of the exploited.
1 and 2 lead to non – exploitative economic oppression
Exploitation only occurs when 1, 2, and 3 principles are working simultaneously
Frank Parkin
Updating Weber for Today
1. Social Closure
2. Reproduction of class through social closure regarding property rights and credentials
3. Power and usurpation strategies