UPSC Sociology Syllabus – Paper 1 – Chapter 5 – Stratification and Mobility : Concepts- equality, inequality, hierarchy, exclusion, poverty and deprivation
- The view is centred around notion of dialectical materialism, unequal control over forces of production and consequent class formation.
- Karl Marx based his conflict theory on the idea that modern society has only two classes of people: the bourgeoisie and the proletariat.
- The Bourgeoisie are the owners of the means of production: the factories, businesses, and equipment needed to produce wealth. The Proletariat are the workers.
SYSTEM OF STRATIFICATION – MARXIAN PERSPECTIVE
- Marx viewed class differentiation as the crucial determinant of social, economic and political inequality.
- Unit or strata are defined as classes.
- Relationship between the classes is that of mutual dependence and conflict.
- Unlike functional view, Marxist regards stratification as a mechanism, whereby some exploit others rather than a means of furtherance of collective goals.
- Marx contended that those who own the means of production always try to maximise their profit at the cost of workers. The lower the wages paid, the higher the profit made by the capitalist.
- Marx sees that class struggle due to stratification will lead to revolution.
MARXIAN VIEW IS A CONFLICT THEORY
- Conflict theorists are deeply critical of social stratification, asserting that it benefits only some people, not all of society.
- Many conflict theorists draw on the work of Karl Marx.
- According to conflict theorists, the resulting stratification creates class conflict.
- Marx’s analysis of class is seen as too simplistic.
- Marx’s class analysis is sometimes seen as loaded with political and ideological bias.
- Marx is also criticised for exaggerating the importance of class and particularly class conflict.