Max Weber a German sociologist defined socialstratification as a central feature of social life. Although Weber theoreticaldiscussions we very brief they were found to be very beneficial and useful. Thecontrast Weber made between class, status and party has become unremarkable insociology. According to Weber an individual’s economic power is a causalcomponent in the determination of their life chances, weber also explains thisas social situations where he argued that an individual’s position in thecapital, product and labour markets depend on the resources an individual has availableto them an example of this would be an electioneer and a carpenter both haveskills that would allow them to earn higher level of income in the labourmarket than someone who has no skills in the labour market.
An individual’sclass situation not only dictates their live chances but also dictates theinterest they have in protecting and enhancing their life chances. Weber statedthat individuals are more likely to act, individually or collectively, inpursuit of their class interests. Marx a German economist and philosopher analysedsociety by using three main approaches to understanding social class, the threemain approaches were descriptive and historical, objective and sociological andsubjective. Marx argued that social structure was based on a conflict ofinterests such as economist interests between social classes of unequal powerand wealth. Historical materialism is the understanding that human beings haveneeds such as food, clothes and a roof over their heads. In order to meet theirneeds, they must therefore have to work to meet them.
Once new tools and machinerywere developed to assist production, social relations of productions wereformed and as production and social relations became more successful, thiscreated social division dividing individuals into two class being a class thatowns the means of production and a class of labourers. Marx described theforces and relations of production as the mode of production. An example ofthis would be that with capitalist mode of production the mode of productioninfluences the economic base of society which indicates and shaped all otheraspects of society such as beliefs, religion, education and law. In the earlystages of human life, it was understood that there were no social classes inventedand everyone worked, earned and shared everything, Marx described this time asprimitive communism.
Marx describes three class societies and defines eachclass with their own form of exploitation, one being ancient society whereslaves were legally connected to their owner, the feudal society based on serfsbeing legally connect to the land and lastly capitalist society based onexploitation of free wage labourers.