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Can Marxist Class analysis be applied to contemporary Western societies such as Britain This essay will explore the Marxist perspective of class and answer questions as to its relevance in todays societies It will look into whether the assumtions made by Marx are outdated and show their relevance to todays modern society Firstly it is important to remember that there is no single Marxist perspective Marx attached great importance to economic process He thought that every social group must satisfy its material needs for example food shelter and clothing and it does this by harnessing natural resources producing goods developing new technologies and establishing a division of labour in the workplace As people band together to perform these economic tasks they enter into class relationships Early hunter gatherer societies were an example of primitive communism because everyone chipped in and did multiple tasks But social class started to develop as societies began to create specialised divisions of labour and the idea of private property was introduced In all stratified societies there are two major social groups a ruling class and a subject class The power of the ruling class derives from its ownership and control of the means of production An example of this in modern society is that of in Columbia 5 of the population owns 95 of the land The ruling class exploits and oppresses the subject class As a result there is a basic conflict of interest between the two classes The various institutions of society such as the legal and political systems are instruments of ruling class domination and serve to further its interests Only when the means of production are communally owned will classes disappear therefore this will bring an end to the exploitation and oppression of some by others The Marxist perspective states that systems of stratification derive from the relationships of social groups to the means of production and a class is a social group
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