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Ralf Dahrendorf - Essay Example

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The main criticism that Ralf Dahrendorf had about sociologists was that realities of social conflicts were given very little attention and class was defined too narrowly with respect to advanced society. …
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Ralf Dahrendorf
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Download file to see previous pages According to him, modern societies are more complex than what it is portrayed by the sociologists. He also believes that integration and consensus that are present in modern social structures have been ignored. Dahrendorf criticised the socialists for assuming a utopian and false representation of consensus, stability and social harmony1. He believed that in modern societies, hierarchies of authority were inevitable. Dahrendorf suggests that exercise of authority must be criterion for formation of class and not possession of private property. He is of the view that the society must be split up among those who command and those who obey and the conflict would be the struggle between those with and without authority2. This criticism is relevant to the Davis Moore analysis for explaining the rise of inequality and stratification in modern societies. According to Davis and Moore, members of a society must be distributed among a variety of social positions. Members in different positions enjoy different levels of authority. Dahrendorf’s argument that hierarchies of authority are inevitable can be used to explain rise of inequality and stratification in modern societies. Davis and Moore argue that social inequality is necessary and universal3. 2.What is the difference and similarity between Karl Marx and Max Weber's approaches for analyzing social stratification in capitalism? (Make sure you define clearly Weber’s and Marx’s definitions of class). How did Weber approach the study of stratification in capitalism and how did Marx approach it. The explanation of Marx and Weber are the most powerful explanations of social conflict. The explanations have some similarities and difference. According to Marx, ownership of property is what defines the class of an individual. There are three main classes according to Marxism: The bourgeoisie (own the means of production and profits is their source of income), the proletariat (labours who sell their labour for wage) and landowners (rent is the source of their income). But it is the conflict between the bourgeoisie and proletariat that mainly characterises the class structure4. Marx’s capitalistic approach was that the conflict between bourgeoisie and proletariat was a conflict between capitalists and wageworkers respectively. That is, control over the means of production (social production) also gave the capitalists control over the class that was involved in the production of goods. That the capitalists exploited the wage works. Weber’s theory of stratification was different from that of Marx as it was rooted in the belief that the education and skill of a person is what determines the class position and not their relationship to the means of production. Weber believed that the solution to stratification was in creation of equal opportunities within a capitalist competitive system. According to Weber social structure depended on three main factors: class, status and power5. Unlike Marx, Weber did not believe that ownership of capital was alone responsible for stratification. Weber defined class as the economic position of a person. 3.What does Marx mean by the circuits C-M-C to M-C-M? Explain what C AND M mean, what two characteristics does C have? What does Marx mean by exploitation and how does it relate to his analysis of the source of profit in capitalism? C-M-C and M-C-M are abstract circuits of exchange according to Marx which explains the transformation of money into capital. C means commodity and M means money in the circuit6. Something that can be bought and sold in a market, or even exchanged, is known as a commodity and it has following two ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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