Social Classes Lecture

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th Social Classes: Lecture 2 January 18 2011 Frederick Engels quote: all history was history of class struggles Josephquote Sebastian quote: society is composed of two classes, very well off and very underfed A capitalists society is characterized by conflict not harmony In industrial societies capitalism divides the population into two opposing classes The working class has only three alternatives: --to cooperate with the capitalists (let the owner do whatever they want and pay them whatever) --to form unions and try to modify social conditions --to make revolutions Things change when you have factories, the way you produce things changes, as you change means of productions, changes relationships Social class differs in every society Differences in social position result from differences in peoples relations to the means of production 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 Dominant Ideology: very hard to get the poorer classes to get off their bums and overthrow their bosses, because they grew up thinking rich people deserve to be rich and poor people poor The main social institutions of society including inheritance and even education ensure that the poor stay poor For Marx, a key question is how members of the social class can gain class awareness The question for Marx is, how does a class in itself become a class for itself For Marx, somehow he has to get into the heads of the poor that they can become a society
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