Max Weber said, “A ‘social class’ makes up the totality of those class situations within which individual and generational mobility is easy and typical.” (cited in Smith 1) He then says class situation means, “procuring goods, gaining a position in life, and finding inner satisfaction.”(cited in smith 3) and “class’ means all persons in the same class situation.” (cited in Smith 4) In contrast to Marx, Weber’s definition of the social class had more layers. First of all, Weber believed that in class mobility and that an individual could move up or down the ladder. He then defined class situation somewhat similarly to Maslow’s Hiererchy of needs.
Procuring goods can come underneath the category of fulfilling basic needs such as food, water, shelter and eventually luxuries. Gaining a position in life also parallels to Maslow’s diagram and finding inner satisfaction is in sync completely with Maslow as the final stage one hopes to get to.
“Weber’s analysis of class is constructed in the form of a theory of social action…holds to multidimensional view in which class relations intersect with and are often outweighed by other (nonclass) bases of association, notably status and party…domination is conceived as an end in itself, with its own independent force and logic… classes as common positions within the market.” (Burris 2) Weber though that there were three divisions in society and that class was only one of them. ‘Status’ and ‘party’ were the two other layers to his theory. Weber said, “A property class is primarily determined by property differences, a commercial class by the marketability of goods and services and a social class makes the totality of those class situations within which individual and generational mobility is easy and typical.” (cited in Smith 4) His thoughts are more related to how we might think about the class system today. He related class with lifestyles: how people live, the way they speak, where they come from, where they get educated and other factors that would sum up the persons place in society.
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