Social Inequality - Weberianism

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SOCIAL INEQUALITY ­ WEBERIANISM ­ GENERAL
Outline and assess Weberian explanations of social inequality [40]
Max Weber has been described as the 'ghost of Marx'
He agreed with Marx that the ownership of property and capital were important
dimensions of privilege within society, however not the only dimensions
Weber argued that social inequality was largely a product of three dimensions: class,
status and party
Weber class
Class refers to someone's economic conditions such as a person's income, wealth, and
occupation. Class was based on economic dimensions
Members of the same social class receive similar economic rewards and share similar
life chances
Weber argued that instead of the two class divide which Marx proposed, there were
further divisions within each class ­ for example the petite bourgeoisie who were the
owners of small businesses
Shown through working class subcultures and upper class 'old boys networks' in which
these different groups tend to share the same life chances and receive the same
rewards
Weber status
Status refers to a person's social standing in society; status is connected to social
dimensions
Status may derive from a person's economic or class position, but may also derive from
ethnicity, religion or lifestyle; for example, members of ethnic minorities receive low
status as they face prejudice and discrimination even though they may be wealth in
class terms
Similarly, those with a relatively low class position may still have high status; for
example this may be due to charity work or sporting achievements
This can be seen in the Hindu religion, in particular with Brahmins; they enjoy their
position in society not because of wealth but because they are regarded as purer in
religious terms than the lower castes

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Weber party
Parties are groups which are concerned with exercising power of influencing decision
making
Parties are therefore believed to be much broader than conventional political parties;
parties include groups such as trade unions and pressure groups
Some parties are linked to the interests of particular classes, for example many trade
unions represent groups within the working class
Some parties may also represent specific status groups, for example the pressure group
Stonewall campaigns for the rights of the LGBTQ community
Weber ­ Evaluation
Weber has…read more

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SOCIAL INEQUALITY ­ WEBERIANISM ­ SOCIAL CLASS
Outline and assess Weberian explanations of class inequality [40]
Max Weber has been described as the 'ghost of Marx'
He agreed with Marx that the ownership of property and capital were important
dimensions of privilege within society, however not the only dimensions
Weber argued that social inequality was largely a product of three dimensions: class,
status and party
Barron and Norris
Proposed the dual labour market theory
The workforce is divided into two sectors;
o The primary sector:…read more

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Believes there are negatively privileged groups within society, for example the
underclass or working class
The more privileged groups can use social exclusion to stop other groups from gaining
their privileges, such as wealth and status
The upper class are known for doing this to the lower classes, particularly through the
capitalist structure, in which the ruling class benefit from the profits of the exploitation
of the working class
An example of upper class social closure is the old boys network, in which men who…read more

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SOCIAL INEQUALITY ­ WEBERIANISM ­ GENDER
Outline and assess Weberian explanations of gender inequality [40]
Max Weber has been described as the 'ghost of Marx'
He agreed with Marx that the ownership of property and capital were important
dimensions of privilege within society, however not the only dimensions
Weber argued that social inequality was largely a product of three dimensions: class,
status and party
Horizontal and Vertical segregation
Weberians tend to look at concepts related to occupational segregation, as they offer
explanations for the inequalities…read more

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Vertical segregation ­ describes men's domination of the highest-ranking of jobs in both
traditionally male and even traditionally female occupations; the glass ceiling is used to
explain this ­ women often face barriers in the workplace, preventing them from
promotion
Supported by Kelly who found that there was masculine bias in textbooks; this was an
influence for boys to take careers in the sciences and for women to be deterred from
them
Grimshaw and Rubery believe women tend to be paid less for doing the…read more

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Stanko showed how women often experience sexual harassment at the hands of men in
jobs which are typically male dominated
However Hakim believes women have more choice and opportunity in where they can
work; they do not have to feel the restraints of working in male-dominated jobs, they
can instead go and work in feminised aspects of the workplace, such as leisure and care
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SOCIAL INEQUALITY ­ WEBERIANISM ­ ETHNICITY
Outline…read more

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Barron & Norris
Proposed the dual labour market theory
The workforce is divided into two sectors;
The primary sector: good working conditions, good pay, work place
benefits e.g.…read more

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One characteristic of the underclass is their inability to 'escape' from it, mainly because
of the newly developed employment policies, laws and labour markets
This therefore leaves the black underclass being made up of people who feel
marginalised, alienated and frustrated
Murray refutes this, believing we should not victimise the underclass as they are the
cause for the high crime rates within society due to single parent families in the
underclass having a lack of fatherly presence, and subsequent lack of teaching of right
and…read more

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