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How did Karl Marx view social stratification?

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anitav1 | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted May 22, 2011 at 3:21 AM via web

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How did Karl Marx view social stratification?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 22, 2011 at 5:36 AM (Answer #1)

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For Marx, social stratification comes down to the basic concept of economics.  To phrase it in the most banal of terms, Marx believes that stratification in capitalist society is predicated upon the idea of those who have wealth controlling or subjugating those who lack it.  Marx's conception of dialectical materialism suggests that historical development has passed through the same fundamental idea where those in the position of social, economic, and political power has been based on the idea that those who control the means of production possess overall control.  These individuals create a stratification system where they remain in power and all others seek to emulate their own patterns of power recognition.  Marx believes that this will change under a socialist system, where the means of production will be owned in a public setting and not a privatized one.  In making this public, stratification will presumably disappear.

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