WEBER'S THEORY ON STRATIFICATION

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WEBER'S THEORY ON STRATIFICATION by Mind Map: WEBER'S THEORY ON STRATIFICATION

1. MULTI-DIMENSIONAL SOCIETY + STATUS: His multi-dimension model depicts the various forms of inequality in capitalist societies, such as Britain. Weber defines status as the distribution of social honor and respect. He suggests that people are more likely to identify with those of similar position and status rather than just economic interest. This forms stronger group identities which Weber defines as 'common status'. Weber acknowledges that wealth and status are largely linked in society. This means that the unequal distribution of wealth are useful for understanding social class inequalities.

2. SOCIAL CLASS: Weber agrees with Marx on the economic division in society but argues that there are further divisions within his two-dimensional model of society. Weber identifies class as people who share similar market situations, meaning people are receiving similar economic interest and life chances. His multi-dimensional model of society introduces 2 new social classes also known as the middle class which is useful for understanding that there are more social inequalities within modern capitalist Britain.

3. POST-MODERNISM CHALLENGE: Social class importance is diminishing as people are becoming more individualised. People are seeing themselves as individuals, with a focus on personal interests and concerns rather than belonging to a specific social class.

3.1. Beck (1992): since the 1970's some societies have become economically advanced and provide the material needs of the people. This means he focus on social class has been replaced by personal interests and concerns. Rather people will come together as a 'social class' to bring about political change.

3.2. Walters (1996): people are now stratified by cultural differences rather than economic differences. People are more likely to familiarise themselves with others of similar symbolic values, rather than social class status.

4. FEMINIST CHALLENGE: Weber's social stratification theory neglects female and gender inequalities. Research on male occupations does not suite the current female class situations.

4.1. Abbott (1990): addresses the low rates of female social mobility. Females have a low chance of receiving high level jobs as a pose to their male counterparts whose social mobility levels are high.

5. MARXIST CHALLENGE: Weber's multi-dimensional model of society defeats the importance of a the social class divisions within capitalism. Marx describe the economic class division as a means of 'divide and rule'. A term addressing the ruling classes gain and maintenance of power. Marx is arguing that political struggle are linked with class struggle in a capitalist society, such as Britain.

6. PARTY addresses those concerned with exercising power and influencing decision making. Weber focuses on the larger conventional parties, such as Trade Unions who seek to improve working conditions and wages. This comes to show that Weber was addressing parties with different purposes to represent different status groups with different issues. This useful as it allows sociologists to understand the numerous forms of inequality in contemporary Britain.

7. Weber's ideas on social stratification stem from Marx's theories on social division, both presenting the social struggle to secure wealth and resources. However, Weber argues that wealth and power are unequally distributed. This lead Weber to create a multi-dimensional model of society, allowing sociologists to understand how society works and the various forms of social inequality faced within it.