♥Comparative Government & Politics Unit-10 Society, Economy and State

♥Comparative Government & Politics Unit-10 Society, Economy and State

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CLASS FORMATION Structure Objectives Introduction History of Class Fornlation 10.2.1 Agrarian Class Formation 10.2.2 Industrial Class Formatio~~ Theories of Class Formation 10.3.1 Marxian Theories 10.3.2 Weberian Theories New Developments Let Us Sum Up Key Words Some Usehl Books Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises 10.0 OBJECTIVES In this unit theories and processes of class formation are discussed. After going through this Unit we hope you would be able to: explain the meaning of the term class; trace the process of class formation; define and explain various theories of class formation; [email protected] new developme~lts; and compare class fornlation in various societies. In conullon speech, the term class is used in varying senses. One speaks of upper, middle and lower, of propertied and non-propertied, of productive and unproductive, of educated and uneducated, classes. In this context, however, tlle tern1 class is practically meaningless; it only says that groups of people have certain clraracteristics in conunon. To give this conception a definite outline and scientific utility, the term class must denote a group where the characteristics held in common are perfectly definite and already determined. The writers on the question of what is essential in the concept of classes fall broadly into two groups - those selecting the objective factors as the basis of class and those selecting the sub-jective ones. Among the fomler, some regard the basis as ow~~ersl~ip or non-ownership of'the instruments of production - a concept essentially Mamian: others lay stress upon the general standard of living, holding that in modem society the elements around which a class is built are generally the same within a particular standard of living. Other objective factors have been selected as well; thus Max Weber builds the concept of class upon ( I ) the 'possession of econonlic means, (2) external standard of living, (3) cultural and recreational possibilities. According to the subjectivists, classes are groups whose sources of income are si~llilar and wl~o'se econonlic interests coincide. In this conception the sub-jective factor lies in a conu~lunity of interest and outlook, rooted in the econonlic structure of any given period. In such a view, common interests, co~lunon ideology, conunon co~lsciousness of cohesion comes to the fore. Other theorists
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regard as essential the degree of esteem in which a group is held, thus making classes essentially a gradation or ranks based on prestige. Class F U ~ I I I U ~ ~ U I I 10.2 HISTORY OF CLASS FORMATION Ln primitive societies certain individuals were often set apart from the rest of the coinmunity because of acquisition of wealth or display of unusual craftsmanship; hereditary aristocracy and priesthoods which were also common grounds for status identities. The transition from this society of status to one of class occurred during the seventh and sixth centuries B.C. in Greece and in Rome.
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