Theories of social inequality

It is not the consciousness of men that determines their being, but, on the contrary, their social being that determines their consciousness. The windmill gives you society with the feudal lord, the steammill, society with the industrial capitalist. They have little choice but to work for capital, since they typically have no independent way to survive.

Theories of social inequality

Theorists Karl Marx and Max Weber disagreed about the nature of class, in particular. Other sociologists applied traditional frameworks to stratification. Karl Marx Karl Marx based his conflict theory on the idea that modern society has only two classes of people: The bourgeoisie are the owners of the means of production: The proletariat are the workers.

According to Marx, the bourgeoisie in capitalist societies exploit workers. The owners pay them enough to afford food and a place to live, and the workers, who do not realize they are being exploited, have a false consciousness, or a mistaken sense, that they are well off.

They think they can count on their capitalist bosses to do what was best for them. As the rich grew richer, Marx hypothesized that workers would develop a true class consciousness, or a sense of shared identity based on their common experience of exploitation by the bourgeoisie.

The workers would unite and rise up in a global revolution. Once the dust settled after the revolution, the workers would then own the means of production, and the world would become communist.

No one stratum would control the access to wealth. Everything would be owned equally by everyone.


As societies modernized and grew larger, the working classes became more educated, acquiring specific job skills and achieving the kind of financial well-being that Marx never thought possible. Instead of increased exploitation, they came under the protection of unions and labor laws.

Skilled factory workers and tradespeople eventually began to earn salaries that were similar to, or in some instances greater than, their middle-class counterparts. Social class for Weber included power and prestige, in addition to property or wealth.

People who run corporations without owning them still benefit from increased production and greater profits.Social inequality occurs when resources in a given society are distributed unevenly, typically through norms of allocation, that engender specific patterns along lines of socially defined categories of persons.

It is the differentiation preference of access of social goods in the society brought about by power, religion, kinship, prestige, race, ethnicity, . Theories of Class & Social Inequality Merger, Chapter III All theories of class and social inequality focus on two basic issues: •Why is there inequality in societies?

•Is inequality inevitable? Marx’s Theory of Social Inequality • The idea of economic reality, how people solve the problem.

Theories of social inequality

Through a historically grounded conceptual framework that explains the presence and reproduction of social stratification and social inequality, [Social Inequality and Social Stratification in US Society] analyzes the four major American classes (upper class, middle class, working class, and the poor), identifies the major historical events that have influenced contemporary social inequality.

Social theories are analytical frameworks, or paradigms, that are used to study and interpret social phenomena.

The Topics

A tool used by social scientists, social theories relate to historical debates over the validity and reliability of different methodologies (e.g. positivism and antipositivism), the primacy of either structure or agency, as well as the relationship between contingency and necessity.

This guide serves to provide both a guided, extended reading list on analyzing social inequality (or stratification) and the syllabus for a graduate course based on the core of this extended reading list (over articles are included below).

The Mathematical Aspect On its formal side then, all "neo-classical" economics represented an early stage of the long, slow development, which still is going on today, of "mathematical economics" or what may be called a gradual "mathematicization" of economic theory.

Sociological theory - Wikipedia