Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate April 2001

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THERE IS A RULING CLASS IN AUSTRALIA Wealth, power and position. These three factors alone categorise each and every human into a group where they are placed with people of similar status. This is known as a person's class. Today in Australia there is a new class that influences society as a whole and it is known as the ruling class.

The Australian society consists of three different classes that are determined by wealth. The first of these classes owns the majority of Australia's wealth (Dilnot 1990, p14). Although this upper class may own the majority of the wealth in Australia, this does not necessarily make them the ruling class.

Karl Marx is known as the founding father of the term "˜ruling class'. The Marxist theory speaks of class as being determined by a person's position in mass production (Bulbeck 1998, p316). This means that to be in a "˜ruling class' a person would have to be in an influential position in the means of production (Jagtenburg & Alton 1980, p42).

Today the "˜ruling class' is not just the elite or wealthy, but a group whose position and power has a major influence on the society around them (Jagtenburg & Alton 1980, p41).

Max Weber who also was a philosopher in class did not agree with the Marxist concept of ruling class. He thought of class as a scale where the more hard work you put into life the better your class (Weber 1968, p302). Therefore Weber did not play a role in this particular issue.

The ruling class in Australia consists of the owners of major companies, businesses and industries whose decisions influence the ways in which Australia's society functions. An example of a member in this ruling class is Rupert Murdoch who owns the majority of Australias print media. His position is extremely influential as his views and beliefs are carefully placed in this print which ends up in our homes and influences us even though we are unaware of it.

With the evolution of industry in Australia it is understandable how a select few rose above the others to form a ruling class. Now that it is certain that this ruling class does exist it is important that the whole of society knows this and is aware of their influence over them.

Word count: 352 BIBLIOGRAPHY Bulbeck, C. (1998). Social Sciences in Australia, 2nd ed. Harcourt Australia Pty. Ltd.: Marrickville, NSW.

Dilnot, A. (1990). From most to least: New figures on wealth distribution. Australian Society.

Jagtenburg, T and D'Alton, P. (1992). Dimensional Social Space. Artarmon Harper Educational.

Weber, M. (1968). Status groups and classes, in Ross, G and Wittich, C. (eds). Economy and Society. Berkeley: University of California Press.