Key Terms:

  •  Bourgeoisie: the ruling class who own the means of production and make profit by exploiting the proletariat for their wage labour.
  •  Proletariat: the working class who own nothing but their labour. They survive by selling their wage labour (i.e. working) for the ruling class. They do not receive a fair wage, according to Marxists and are exploited by the Bourgeoisie. 
  • Capitalism: the economic system where the means of production are owned privately and run for profit. 
  • Capital: Wealth in the form of money or assets 
  • Means of production: things like land, labour, factories etc. which are owned by the ruling class.
  •  Wage labour: The Marxist term for paid work. 
  • Communism: A society where all citizens are equal and all of the means of production are owned by the state for the good of everyone.


Marxism is a CONFLICT theory developed by Karl Marx (1818 - 1883) who suggests that in every society apart from communism, there is class conflict. In a CAPITALIST society, the proletariat is exploited by the bourgeoisie. Marx believed that eventually the proletariat would overthrow the bourgeoisie…


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