Sociological Theories of Social Inequality; Marxism

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Marxism is a structured theory based on the writings of Marx and Engels, who were writing in the nineteenth century in a context of rapid industrialisation; where the growth of factories and mass production was bringing a range of social and economic changes.

Marxism seeks to explain the existance and persistence od social inequalities around economic inequalities and the relationship of individuals to the economic structure of society.

Through history, societies and develop through different modes of production or phases of development and most of Marx's writings were based around the phase of capitalism, where the privileged in society owned the capital and everyone else owned only their labour party.

Marx argued that within capitalism there are two main social classes, the bourgeoisie and the proletariat.

The bourgeoisie are defined as the ruling class; although small in number they own and control the means of production. This gives them a vested interest in making money and profit as they effectively control the lives of other social class, the proletariat.

The proletariat can be defined as the workers; they own nothing but their own labour, which they sell to the bourgeoisie in return for wages. However, the wages are negligble



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