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21. Weber's Theory of Class

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Uploaded on Mar 5, 2011

Foundations of Modern Social Thought (SOCY 151)

Along with the macro-level shift from traditional forms of authority to legal-rational authority, Weber's theory of class identifies a macro-level shift from status to class determining life chances. In feudal times, under traditional forms of authority, monarchs or others in power conferred high status upon individuals and material wealth followed; first a man would be named a nobleman, and then he would get his estate. In the modern capitalist era, individuals obtain their monetary or material wealth and their class position vis-à-vis the market determines their life chances. Weber, in contrast to Marx, argues that class is a modern phenomenon. However, this does not mean that our modern and contemporary world does not have versions of status. Like remnants of traditional and charismatic authority co-mingled with legal-rational authority in the state and other institutions, status still determines life chances to a certain extent. The influence of status is somewhat subsumed under Weber's category of social class.

00:00 - Chapter 1. Remarks for Final Exam
04:06 - Chapter 2. Introduction to Weber's Theory on Class
19:57 - Chapter 3. Definition of Class
29:59 - Chapter 4. Definition of Status Group
38:19 - Chapter 5. Class and Status Compared; Types of Classes

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses

This course was recorded in Fall 2009.

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