How do Karl Marx and Max Weber differ in their views of social class?

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Karl Marx saw society as being divided into two social classes. There were those who controlled the means of production (bourgeoisie), and there were those who did not own the means of production (proletariat). To use an example in industry, the owners of the means of production would be the factory owners, while the ones who do not own the means of production would be the workers. Marx argued that the owners of the means of production were taking advantage of their workers and proclaimed that eventually there would be a global revolution of the workers in which they took control of the means of production. Marx did not take into account other individuals like civil servants and educators because they did not produce goods for the economy and thus were not included in either class. For Marx it was simply an upper class that owned the means of production and a lower class that was forced to work for them.

Weber's views on social class differed from Marx due to his belief that factors other than just physical production were important to society and determining social status. Weber's view took into account groups like civil servants and educators in addition to factory owners and workers. Weber determined that social class was actually based on power, wealth, and prestige. It was not simply the means of production that determined social class, but also the influence one had within society, and the status that they held within society. Weber's view is more complex and takes more factors into account than Marx's view that social class was simply determined by who controlled the means of production and who did not.

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Karl Marx believed class was based on a person's position relative to capital (or the means of production). Marx identified two classes: the capitalist class and the labor class. Capitalists were people who owned the means of production, such as land and factories. Laborers were those who worked for capitalists and produced goods. Marx called the capitalist class the bourgeoisie. He called the labor class the proletariat. 

Weber defined class in more complex terms. He defined class as a person's access to three resources: property, status, and power. Weber acknowledges that a person's access to property (capital) was indeed one aspect of a person's social class. However, he believed that other factors related to social standing also influenced class. A person's class is related to how much influence they have in their community, the network of relationships they have, the prestige of their family, etc. 

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