Social Classes

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Published on 16 Feb 2011
School
UTSG
Department
Sociology
Course
SOC102H1
Professor
Social Classes - Lecture23:18
Study of inequalities began with Marx and he began with the study of the social classes
Two social classes, the rich and the poor
The high, the middle and the low George Orwell
George Orwell
Started out as a Marxist, but then turned away from it
The difference, is that he is saying there are three classes, not two
Binary thinks and non-binary thinkers
Binary in terms of conflict
Non-binary in terms of consolidation
Black and while versus black, white and grey
Throughout history classes always clash over power, needed recourses
Marxism its not the great men who move human history, its the class struggle
Communism as the end of history
Karl Marx and themes
Conflict, from the stand point of class analysis consensus is not the norm
Capitalist society is characterized by conflict, not harmony
Capitalist divides the society into two opposing classes
One class owns the means of productions, 2nd class does not
Humans die if they do not eat, and those who control the means of production, have control over
the people who need the food
The working class has only three alternatives
To cooperate with capitalists
To from unions and try to modify social conditions
To make revolutions
Anyone who has concern over justice, would not go for the first option for Marx, unions were
a good half point, because they would only have the limited effect on how much control the
upper class ultimately they thought revolution was the solution
Marx: how to make a revolution and when to make a revolution
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Means of production change
Agricultural owning large amounts of land
Controlling the land feudal relations
With industry new kinds of relationships with the means of production
In every society you have to revisit what is a social class
Social position and class mobility
Differences in social position result from differences in peoples relations to the means of
productions
Class status is readily identifiable intergenerational stability
Social mobility at both ends of the class ladder, class stability over time is maintained by
inheritance
That is why poverty and wealth is self-perpetuating from one generation to the next
Development of class cultures
Dominant ideology that way of looking at the world, the lower looking at themselves as being
powerless to change the class structure this is useful for the dominant class
Main institutions of society ensure that poor stay poor
Main institutions, including inheritance and even education that the poor stay poor
Seizing control of the brains of the working class so that they can make a change
Class awareness
Class consciousness
You can not have inequality without differentiation
Class awareness understanding that there are differences
Class consciousness seeing your own position in the class structure
Key, for Marx how members of a class can gain class consciousness
Development of class consciousness required a transition from a class in itself to a class fro itself
Marx does not believe in real change through peaceful methods
Capitalism carries with itself seeds of its own destructions
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Document Summary

Study of inequalities began with marx and he began with the study of the social classes. Two social classes, the rich and the poor. The high, the middle and the low  george orwell. Started out as a marxist, but then turned away from it. The difference, is that he is saying there are three classes, not two. Black and while versus black, white and grey. Throughout history  classes  always clash over power, needed recourses. Marxism  its not the great men who move human history, it"s the class struggle. Conflict, from the stand point of class analysis  consensus is not the norm. Capitalist society is characterized by conflict, not harmony. Capitalist  divides the society into two opposing classes. One class owns the means of productions, 2nd class does not. Humans die if they do not eat, and those who control the means of production, have control over the people who need the food.