Essay - There are three different frameworks through which sociologists can explain the existence of poverty and inequality within a society The

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
There are three different frameworks through which sociologists can explain the existence of poverty and inequality within a society. The first analyzes stratification on an individual level, stating that individuals’ personality traits such as talent, skill and motivation determines their places in society. In other words, the greater level of innate ability one has, the greater his or her position in society will be. The second dimension of inequality looks more toward economic shifts to explain stratification. Recessions and depressions will augment class divides, while economic booms will lessen them. The third dimension, about which Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels wrote, explains inequality in terms of class conflict and power—they called this the materialist conception of history, or historical materialism. Marx and Engels wrote about the materialist conception of history in their Manifesto of the Communist Party. According to Marx and Engels, “the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.” This means that throughout history, all societies have been split into classes wherein one class dominated over the other. “Class” under Marxism refers to a group of people who share a position in the economic system—it does not refer to gender, race or age. In historical materialism, society is dichotomized into two classes: the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. All class struggles derive from the critical distinction between these groups. It is important to note that the classification of bourgeoisie and proletariat emerged with the rise of capitalism. However, this does not mean that class struggles did not exist before capitalism—after all, the Communist Manifesto examines the history of all existing society. Capitalism is just one mode of production that produces inequality. A mode of production is an
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 02/27/2010 for the course SOCL 211 taught by Professor Trinidad during the Spring '08 term at SUNY Geneseo.

Page1 / 2

Essay - There are three different frameworks through which sociologists can explain the existence of poverty and inequality within a society The

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online