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Sociology: Class Stratification

  • Date Submitted: 05/14/2010 11:48 AM
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Sociology                   Class Stratification:              
Marxism Study:
Sociologists John Westergaard and Henrietta Resler carried out a study entitled “Class in a Capitalist Society” (1976). They concentrated their analysis in British society, which they claimed was dominated by the ruling class. For them the ruling class consisted of; owners of the means of production, company directors, top managers, higher professionals and senior civil servants, combined these makes up only around 5-10% of the entire population.
Westergaard and Resler argued that the major divisions of class and society are between capital and labour power and that private ownership of capital explains these divisions; the ruling class own the means of production and capital of land and the subordinate class which consists of the majority of normal wage/salary earning individuals as the non owners.

Westergaard (1995) re-examined capitalist societies in Britain in this works entitled “Who Gets What? The Harding of Class in the Late 20th Century”. On order to update and perhaps even revise his findings he concentrated on the affects of privatisation and free market implemented by governments. It became clear that the previous Westergaard and Resler observation that governments favour the interests of the capitalists – ruling class. Westergaard (1995) found that the privately owned wealth had become more even however the ownership of industry remained in the hands of the top 5%
Weber Study – Margaret Stacey
Margaret Stacey (1960’s) carried out study examining class in Oxfordshire, following Weber’s theories she considered status and party also. Within the class system, particularly the manual working class strata 3 distinct status groups had emerged; the “respectable” working class, the “ordinary” working class and the “rough” working class. Stacy argues it is not enough to simply determine these groups by economic factors alone because this would not determine there status...


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