Monday, December 14, 2020

Max Weber: Class Status Party - Short Summary

Max Weber's theory, which develops as a critique of Marx, deals with the connection between economics and society, but does not place economics at the base of society for the sake of offering a complex look at the formation of social stratification.

According to Weber there are 3 arenas of struggle and not one (as Marx claims):


Status - the struggle at the economic level

Status - The struggle is for prestige

Party - The struggle is for power


Class according to Weber is a social category (a collection of people with similar characteristics) and not a group (a collection of people with a common consciousness). The group has awareness of the mutual fate which allows them to act together.

Weber is interested in the market and not in the production process. Class is a group of people with an equal chance of getting goods in the market. Class is a category of people with a similar amount of money or future potential for making money.

The action of the class is rational and aimed at maximizing the chance in the market. It is done at the individual level.

A status group includes people with a common and conscious interest in achieving prestige (e.g., the Bar Association). People from different classes can belong to the status group.


According to Weber status groups work in two ways:

Closure - Selectivity that restricts entry to the group. The more you join a particular group, the more the prestige of the group and its members increases.

Exclusion - Expenditure


You have to learn the “Habitus” of the in order to gain access to it.

The parties direct their action to gain power and fulfill the interest of the group. The parties try to influence the goals of the society and the distribution of resources in it. Not necessarily a reflection of status or status.


Power - the ability of an individual or group to realize their interests, even in the face of the opposition of others.


The means of gaining power are various and varied: violence, gathering votes, manipulations, etc.

· The various resources are convertible. There are interactions between the elements (arenas of struggle).

A man according to Weber belongs to a multiplicity of groups that affect his life.

Consciousness creates being - culture and social ideas have created the economic world.

See also: religious affiliation and social stratification

Marx on Class Consciousness 

- Asceticism and the Spirit of Capitalism

The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism

Suggested reading: