Weber on Marx's Conception of class Inequality

Essay by vtblackUniversity, Master'sA, July 2006

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During the nineteenth century, Karl Marx and Max Weber were two of the most influential sociologist. Both their views on the rise of class and capitalism have various similarities and differences. They believed that capital is relatively new to the modern world. Their views differ on the rise of capitalism. Regardless of Marx and Weber differences, both theorists agree that capitalism is a system of highly personal relations.

With regards to class inequality, Karl Marx was more concerned with the structure of society rather than the meaning. Marx felt it is class structure which gave power to the classes. Marx believed that the rise of capitalism was the result of the dialect between two classes. Weber on the other hand, felt that once the old feudal system was abolished so was the class system. Weber saw class in a capitalistic society mainly in terms of a monopoly. Weber also felt class was determined by a person's ability to exchange on the market.

Weber viewed a monopoly as those who had the power to bargain. He firmly stressed that individuals who control's or operates a monopoly are less eager to exchange goods.

Marx's ideas about class and inequality were based on his study of Western Europe around the time of the Industrial Revolution. Weber's ideas were formed from a more scientific standpoint. As a result his theory has proven to be more accurate by the rise of large scale corporations, specialized tasks emerging all over the world, a society where you are judged more for what you are based on technical competence rather than one's bloodline. Both Marx and Weber feared wide spread alienation brought about by modern society. But Weber theory on the rise of bureaucracy has proven to be much more plausible than Marx idea of inequality causing...