In society there are many different factors which divide us and result in social inequality. In this essay, I will be covering social class. Karl Marx believed that in society, there are two major social classes, the bourgeoisie and the proletariats. The bourgeoisie are basically the upper class; in order for you to be classed as a part of them you must own the means of production such as factories etc. In order for these factories to run, they would need workers, which is where the proletariats come in.
The proletariat only owns their labour force which they sell in order for a wage. Karl Marx stated that the proletariats are exploited through low pay and poor work conditions, but due to capitalism, we deal with it as were tied down to the economy. Conflict theory coined by Karl Marx suggests that suggested that social order is maintained by domination and power opposed to a shared consensus among society. This inequality is derived from social and political aspects established in society.
Marxists believe that social in equalities are implemented by the bourgeoisie in order to maintain a disturbance among the proletariats in order to keep them distracted from existing economic issues. A way they do this through the media. They distract the public with celebrity’s lavish lifestyles and people are tied to the economy in an attempt to imitate them. Factualists would counter this perspective claiming that social inequalities benefit society positively. They believe that it works as an incentive for individuals to work harder and achieve their maximum potential. The education system also ensures that the most suitable are picked out for the job. It also ensures that social order is maintained as people would accept their position as they had an equal chance to everyone else. Factualists also believe that the individuals at the bottom of the fragmented social scale are needed as some has to do the less attractive jobs. The New Right have a very traditional view of society.
They believe that women should embrace the assigned expressive role and males should be the breadwinner in the family. They have old fashioned views and are often of the Christian religion despite recent secularisation rates. The New Right are one of the few perspectives which with holds a cultural argument. They believe that failure in society is a result of the individual’s actions and choices. They believe that all the wealth within society slowly “Trickles” down to the rest of society. They believe that business entrepreneurs create jobs for the rest of society by setting up business such as industries and factories which then create jobs; hence the wealth being distributed throughout society. Although inequalities exist and are relevant in the contemporary UK, it’s very rare that there are cases of absolute poverty due to free services provided by the government such as health care and education which then give individuals more equal life chances.
Capitalism has gotten rid of many working class jobs throughout the UK such as factory jobs and mining, because of this, these working class jobs have been replaced with many middle class jobs. This has given people a better standard of living and made them more aspirational for the future. Within the past 50 years, the middle class has massively grown and become the largest social class within the UK. There are also exceptionally much more university graduates. Karl Marx was strongly against the concept of capitalism.
He disliked the fact that there was income inequality. He pushed for a communist society and equality. He predicted that this would happen in the future as capitalism was unstable and was inevitable to fall. He stated that we would all achieve a class conscience and be aware of the fact that we are being exploited, realising our true value. He predicted we would all revolt against the system. The fact that we all still live in a capitalist society proves he was wrong. Sociologists such as weber countered this prediction and believed that the proletariats would be too distracted with domestic problems amongst each other forcing them to divide as opposed to sticking together.