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Class inequalities in contemporary Britain - Essay Example

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In the present scenario, class is defined on the basis of economic parameters i.e. income, property and assets, cost of living and others. In order to understand the term “Class’, an explanation given by Breen (2004, p.3) is given below: “Class is commonly held to have various possible consequences. …
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Class inequalities in contemporary Britain
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Download file to see previous pages In the present scenario, class is defined on the basis of economic parameters i.e. income, property and assets, cost of living and others. In order to understand the term “Class’, an explanation given by Breen (2004, p.3) is given below: “Class is commonly held to have various possible consequences. Because a set of individuals shares a common class position they tend to behave in similar ways: class position is a determinant of the individual’s conditions of action and similar actions could be expected among those who have similar conditions of action” (Breen, 2004, p.3) It can be inferred from the above paragraph, a social class provides information on the characteristics of the social actors belonging to that particular class. This social class have some common characteristics that help grouping people together under the same class. In the modern age, classes are determined on the basis of economic income such as high income group, middle income group, low income group and others. Class helps policy makers to develop social policies for the society. According to Crompton analysis and measurement of class is complicated as there is no single best way of it. The neo-liberalism of the 21st century Britain portrays distinct ideological and social context of the period. Crompton argues class to be the central feature of social policy. With the changes in the social structure and stratifications, the philosophy of class is also undergoing certain changes.
Contemporary Britain According to Bently (2008) contemporary periods is the period of mid 1970s to the present day. This period experienced various changes in the British societies in terms of politics, class, gender and sexuality, national identities and different subcultures (Bently, 2008, pp.3). These changes have been explored and studied by various researchers and scholars. Different theories developed to explain and justify the social changes. Some of the significant contributions of this period are the theories of Marx and Weber. Class signifies the social place actors in the society. There are various common themes in these two contemporary theories such as the approach to the class concept was relational. This relational class concept was evolved through the systematic interactions of the social actors of the society in the British society. The classes were defined in terms of the qualitative factors rather than the statistical base. Marx viewed capitalist to exploiting working class (Hamilton, 1991). The differences of classes were based on the ownership of resources or means of production which was the main reason for various societal conflicts (Hamilton, 1991; Sayer, 1991; Scott, 1999). Theories of Marx and Weber The theories of Marx and Weber have some similarities and differences. Both explained class as a relational concept and focused on the centrality of relations based on property (Wright, 2000). According to Wright (2000) property ownership is one of the sources identified by Marx and Weber for class division in a capitalist economy. In the views of Marx classes are nothing but the “relational means of production”. These means of production are the resources of required for the production process. A small section of British society had the larger control over the resources and means of productions. Working class was were actually involved in the production process by their hard work and labour and converting these resources to the products (Sayer, 1991; Scott, 1999). However this working class gets low shares in the profit which tends to increase the hiatus of rich and poor. According to Weber ownership of the property and property is the basis of different class situations. Marx and Weber have described classes as an expression for social actors within the society. Wright (2000) argues that both the scholars have linked classes to specific material interests. These material interests ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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