Social Stratification According to Marx and Weber

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Social stratification is the hierarchical arrangement of individuals into divisions of power and wealth within a society. Social stratification relates to the socio-economic concept of class, consisting of the upper class, middle class, and lower class. Each class may be further subdivided into smaller classes through the main indicator is occupation. This is the most practical and most effective means of encompassing the wide variety of economic and social elements that go to make up a person’s class through their education, status, income and power. Evidence shows that wealth is distributed unequally and that incomes vary from small to huge. The old idea of Britain’s class structure was comprised as a triangular shape; with increasing amount of people at the bottom towards the base as a majority of people were unskilled manual workers which provided a strong industrial based manufacturing sector. This model implied a hierarchy showing people who had high levels of income, status and power at the top. However, there has been a dramatic shift in Britain’s industrial structure as people have now gone onto tertiary or service sector jobs. Therefore, I am going to discuss why Britain’s class structure has become fragmented evaluating the statement ‘Social class is a thing of the past. It no longer exists’ from all four theories Marxism, Max Weber, functionalism and postmodernism.

The functionalist view of social stratification is being inevitable and also to perform a positive function for society. Their argument for this is that an unequal distribution of rewards and privileges found in the class system allows for its most talented members to be attracted from society and put in the most important roles (Davis and Moore). Howe...

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The Independent. 2013. Labour says the working class no longer exists, so why do 60 per cent of us claim to belong to it?. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 2 Apr 2014]. 2007. The Death of Class? - WriteWork. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 2 Apr 2014].

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