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This Essay Will Aim To Explain The Main Differences Between Marxian, Durkheimian, And Weberian Approaches To Social Inequality.

1492 words - 6 pages

This essay will aim to explain the main differences between Marxian, Durkheimian, and Weberian approaches to social inequality. It will begin with each Marx's approach to social inequality, which he believed economic factors to be the sole cause of this social phenomenon. Marx was born in the aftermath of the French revolution where the governing elite was overthrown by the bourgeoisie allowing capitalism to develop. This in turn gave rise to a new class where Marx put all his hope in. However, Marx envisaged an inevitable class conflict and an overthrow of the capitalist elite, but that still has not occurred. Next the essay will discuss Weber's approach to social inequality. Weber had the advantage of writing at a later period than Marx. He took into account more than just economic factors such as social status and parties as opposed to Marx, which allows for a more in depth explanation of social inequality. Then the essay will discuss Durkheims approach to social inequality. Durkheim also had the advantage of writing at a later period. He used the Division of Labour in Society to explain social inequality. His idea was that as society became more complex, the tasks in it became more specialised with unequal rewards as motivation for doing these tasks thus making society more and more stratified. Finally in the conclusion the essay will discuss the main differences between each of their approaches to social inequality.Social inequality did not exist in mans 'natural' state because of the common control of resources allegedly characterised by the ownership of land by the total community with individual rights in tools, cultivation and the distribution of products. Those who laboured owned the land they laboured on, the requisite tools, their own labour power and had the rights in common over the distribution of the products. When any of these factors was altered so that only a few in society owned the land, inequality was born (Owen: 20).Marx's ideas were based on the presupposition of what is generally going to happen by interpreting the French revolution and its consequences. For Marx the French revolution merely was a political revolution. He assumes that a part of civil society, a specific class- the bourgeoisie- emancipated itself and that it did so because of peculiar circumstances in France at that time. Thus Marx is correct in saying that in specific circumstances it is possible for a particular group with a particular interest to be the voice of the people at large (Hess: 13). Thus feudal societies had given way to capitalist society because a rising middle of capitalists successfully struggled against a feudal landed aristocracy and won the day. This merchant and industrialist class in effect merged with those with property consisting of land to form a new capitalist class and those whom they were exploiting formed the working class (Morris: 18). The dominant class exploited the subordinate class through the expropriation of the...

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