Class and Class Conflict in Industrial Society

Soziale Klassen und Klassenkon fltkt in der industriellen Gesellschaft

Автор(и) : Ralf Dahrendorf

Издател : Stanford University Press

Място на издаване : Stanford, California, USA

Година на издаване : 1959

Брой страници : 336

Език : английски


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In 1959, Dahrendorf published in his most influential work on social inequality, titled Class and Class Conflict in Industrial Society. Despite later revisions and affirmations of his work, today this book still remains as his first detailed and most influential account of the problem of social inequality in modern, or postcapitalist, societies.
In analyzing and evaluating the arguments of structural functionalism and Marxism, Dahrendorf believed that neither theory alone could account for all of society. Marxism did not account for evidence of obvious societal integration and cohesion. Structural functionalist, on the other hand, did not focus enough on social conflict. He also asserted that Marx defined class in a too narrow, historically-specific context. During Marx’s time, wealth was the determining factor in attaining power. The wealthy –– and therefore the powerful –– ruled, leaving no way for the poor to gain any power or increase their position in society.
Drawing on aspects of both Marxism and structural functionalists to form his own beliefs, Dahrendorf highlighted the changes that have occurred in modern society. Specifically, with democracy came voting for political parties, and increased social mobility. He believes that the struggle for authority creates conflict. Furthermore, he believes that traditional Marxism ignores consensus and integration in modern social structures. Dahrendorf’s theory defined class not in terms of wealth like Marx, but by levels of authority. Dahrendorf combines elements from both of these perspectives to develop his own theory about class conflict in postcapitalist society.

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