The question of societal stratification has dominated among great thinkers of present and past centuries. The concept of traditional social stratification has changed much due to increased technology, information exchange and the rise of socially differentiated status groups. This has changed the focus from conflict of classes to the rise of new perspectives.
The sociological theories of Karl Marx, Bourdieu, Weber and others continue to guide the discussion in sociology as points of departure and convergence. This work will analyze why the politics of class in advanced industrial states are not predominant. The paper will explain the sociological views of Marx, Weber and Bourdieu concerning views of societal stratification.
Bourdieu’ Social Space and symbolic Space Summary and Analysis
In his ‘Logic of Practice,’ the method Bourdieu embraces and advocates for is that of transcending the borders between objectivism and subjectivism as well as structure and action. He argues that neither of the views is to be left to explain social sciences. However, a combination of the views would result to inseparable and solid knowledge.
He thus emphasizes that sociology must explain social structure inside the actor. In regard to this view habitus becomes the concept of explaining what already is known by devising new methods, ways, plans or knowledge through the mind and body.
However, the caution that should be taken with regard to social structure is about misrecognitions, partial or distorted misunderstanding laid by emphasis on what is experienced through ideologies. Therefore, Bourdieu attacks ideology as flawed since it tends to present mastery from wrong basis.
The definition of class by Marx is given as a group that is mobilized to engage in common purposes that are against another class (Calhoun, Gerteis, Moody, Ptaff & Virk, 2012b). In his analysis of social space and symbolic space, Bourdieu observes through Distinction that those at the top of the society tend to pursue ideas and things from their perspective of class and how best they understand them.
These properties are very different from those in the lowest part of the society. He argues that the two kinds of persons in the society have far wider reaching limitations, tastes and preferences; where for those at the top the properties and tastes are not means as is the case for those at the low end scale (Calhoun, Gerteis, Moody, Ptaff & Virk, 2012b).
Bourdieu organizes the society into social space and symbolic space. The social space is a representation of the varying levels and is identified by differences behaviors and attitudes. The social space illustrates that the society is not homogenous as thought, but a constant representation of individual differences that mirror the social division of the society. In developed countries, this space changes in the fact that those at the top of the society can assume positions thought to be for the very lowest in the society.
Emanating from this view Bourdieu comments that classes only exist in the form virtuosity. The presentation of social space is a source sheds light the conflicts that exist as differences in the developed nations either individually or collectively. Thus, in this observation, social space constructs different kinds of capital that become sources of power to defend or change such power.
Marx’s Classes Summary and Analysis
Max in ‘Classes’ observes that the difference in property like land, capital and rent leads to the social classes. In his writing, it is clear that in a society the persons who held these prestigious materials, eventually ends as the owner of production. For those in the society who do not have the privileges of owning materials, they have to survive by means of providing labor to the landed class. Therefore, the laborer becomes the source of food to the society through work. Social action arises from the increased debts and inadequate or lack of property.
The idea of social action comes from Weber’s point of view about honor in the society. Weber wrote that, those forming the group that owns nothing except labor will a group of intermixed persons in various structures of the social world of the society. The mixing of these individuals will lobby for the prestigious attention accorded to the propertied class. In this respect, the need for “fair-play in the market” becomes the new weapon for this group. In essence, this is the search for honor.
However, the industrial focus on the property is quite advanced from Marx’s explanation of democracy. Concretely, this should be seen as traditional democracy, which is in complete contrast with modern from legal order and politics. The rise of capitalism in search of individual liberalization in the market has changed the perceptions of class.
Today, developed counties are formed of competing individuals and groups, with each endowed with unique sets of strengths and weaknesses. The borders set strictly on ownership of property do not exist; rather, the presence of information and technology determines the success of an individual and a group at a glance.
This classification of the society has changed with the new dimensions of approach at social class. In recalling Bourdieu’s sociological theory, the politics of class are inexistent, and this only leaves the differences found on the diverse aspects of modern social world. Weber wrote that the aspects of search for status honor stratify the social world into social groups defined by unique attributes.
He states that social order may be used to gain economic power or even the opposite of that. As an example, the fact that people live on the same street or dress in similar fashions, is the basis for a class distinct from other groups basing on these factors.
Modernity in many developed countries from Max’s point of view may be explained as a resulted to the advancement of the industrial platform. Industrial progress and advancement in technology has led to prowess in informational technology. This has in effect changed the perception of business to global status thus getting the greater need to stay ahead of everybody, what Weber refers to maintaining the social circle negatively (Calhoun, Gerteis, Moody, Ptaff & Virk, 2012a).
Weber’s Class, Status, Party Summary and Analysis
Weber’s theory observes that the old demarcations of social class have fizzled due to this notion. Modern and advanced industrial societies form the great countries of the earth. However, these nations’ states are homogenous if weighed by Marx’s theory, but forge forward to support Weber and Bourdieu. From here, the examination of education, fashion, music, politics and development ideas will be examined in light of these three sociological theories.
The education quality of the industrially advanced countries is often regarded the best. As mentioned, the availability of vast resources has made this possible. Those, persons found to belong to the same academic status are expected to observe behaviors and attitudes characteristic of this group.
Therefore, it does not matter who has property or not. The point of unification derives from scores of scholarly materials analyzed or academic honors achieved as well critical analysis of major works. Further, these academics vary in terms of differences in disciplines where sociologist will be different Mathematicians who are different from linguist (Calhoun, Gerteis, Moody, Ptaff & Virk, 2012a).
Another class will be based on fashion and music. This will be established in terms of communities that ascribe to a given fashion that exhibits a distinct taste. In light to music, the genre of music brings a social group together, excluding subscribers of other genres of music like reggae, rock or even pop music.
The subscription to different views of politics; for example, the left, right or center, determines the social stratification of a people. In less advanced states, such differences have led to fatal civil wars, bloodshed or loss of lives. In terms of development, the concerned states will be seen affiliated to other states that are developing especially in terms of exchange of information and technology (Calhoun, Gerteis, Moody, Ptaff & Virk, 2012a).
From Weber and Marx‘s writing, an analysis advanced capitalism eliminates the notions of the propertied and the not propertied. In this essence, politics are shaped by the majority of the same view without the discussion of what is the social standing of the respective party holders or bearers.
Although this may raise issues in Bourdieu’s theory, modern democracy does not differentiate between the propertied or not propertied in terms of that sense. In Bourdieu’s view, they form the social space and the symbolic space of the society. These stratifications will be maintained by each member behaving as the tenets require of them based on the stable establishment of the group.
Calhoun, C., Gerteis, J., Moody, J., Ptaff, S., & Virk, I. (2012a). Classical Sociological Theory. Garsington road, Oxford: John Wiley and Sons.
Calhoun, C., Gerteis, J., Moody, J., Ptaff, S., & Virk, I. (2012b). Contemporary Sociological Theory. Garsington road, Oxford: John Wiley and Sons.