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Weber Class Status Party Notes

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This is an extract of our Weber Class Status Party document, which we sell as part of our Sociological Theory Notes collection written by the top tier of University Of Oxford students.

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Max Weber - Class, Status, Party

2. Determination of Class-Situation by Market-Situation
* Classes are not communities - they represent possible and frequent bases for communal action
* A class situation is:
* the chance for a supply of goods, external living conditions and life experiences where this chance is determined by power to dispose of goods or skills for the sake of income.
# essentially, where goods and living conditions depend on market power and action
* A class is:
* a group of people with a specific causal component of their life chances in common, where this component is represented:
# in economic interests in possession of goods and income opportunities
# under the conditions of the commodity/labour markets
* Disposition over material property in an exchange market creates life chances
* this advantages owners over non-owners, owing to the law of marginal utility
* market exchange advantages those who do not have to sell over those who do, and the latter group are forced to sell their services cheaply as a result
* hence property and lack of property are 'the basic categories of all class situations'
* Within the two categories of 'property' and 'lack of property', classes are differentiated according to the kind of property available, and the kind of services available
* The concept of class presupposes the game of chance in the market, and hence the existence of a market
* possession is not a category upon which classes are formed, whereas property is
* the fate of slaves is not determined by market activity, and hence slaves are not a class, but a status group

3. Communal Action Flowing from Class Interest
* So, classes are created by economic interest, and even at at only by those interests tied up in the market
* but these interests are somewhat ambiguous, and do not necessarily lead to certain types of action
* direction of interests may vary according to whether communal action has followed from the common economic interest e.g. through a trade union
* the degree to which mass (and disparate?) actions are translated into communal and societal action will depend upon cultural and intellectual conditions
* In order for class action to occur, classes must not just see the contrast in life chances at the market exchange, but recognise it as the result of:
* the given distribution of property
# basis of class action in antiquity, middle ages, feudalism etc (when food and agriculture were exploited for profit)
* or the structure of the concrete economic order
# as in the case of the modern proletariat

4. Types of 'Class Struggle'
* Hence a class may form the basis for class action, but will not necessarily do so
* Class is not the same as community
* denigratory comments about the idea that an individual can be in error as to his interest,

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