Class is no longer relevant in Australia

Essay by evilcandyUniversity, Bachelor's September 2004

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The following essay will present the argument "Class is no longer relevant in Australia". To say that class is irrelevant in today's society is a great understatement. Although the statement may have some authority as Australia shouldn't have class structures, this essay will demonstrate the fact that class struggles are increasing in our lives and that they are still relevant in Australia. This argument will be presented to testify that the above statement about the relevance of class in Australia is incorrect and that it still does exist.

A suitable starting point for the discussion of this statement is to examine the definitions of the relevant terms. The Macquarie Dictionary defines class as a social stratum sharing essential economic, political or cultural characteristics, and having the same social position (The Macquarie Library Pty Ltd. 1998, p.80).

One argument for the above statement is that classes are considered to be non-existent in today societies, however to rebut this statement, an increasing class struggle and wider wealth gape between the rich and the poor is clearly evident.

Data collected from the Australian Bureau of Statistics' 1986 Income Distribution Survey (IDS) states that this is true, with the top one percent of the population holding almost twenty percent of the wealth and the next ten percent holding more than half the wealth (Dilnot, A. (1990, p.15).

According to the above stated IDS, as the top twenty-one percent of the population holds different amounts of wealth, they do not share "economic characteristics" as the Macquarie Dictionary states class to be, therefore, class struggles are relevant in Australia.

One of the arguments that is present by Marx is that the majority of people are alienated from the control over production and further that class struggles and inequalities are present in each generation. (Handbook HUM1007. 1999,