Means of Production

Means of production, according to Karl Marx is the specific organization of economic production of a given society. For instance, factories, raw materials and machines. Further, it comprises labor and the organization of the labor force (Ferrante-Wallace, 2013). The means of production is owned by the bourgeoisie. The difference between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat is that the former own the means of production while the latter do not and thus work for the bourgeoisie. Moreover, the bourgeoisie try as much to preserve capitalism through promotion of false consciousness and ideologies that prevent the proletariat from revolting (Ferrante-Wallace, 2013).

False consciousness refers to the systematic misrepresentation of the dominant social relations in the awareness of the subordinate class, for example peasants and workers, therefore obscuring the realities of exploitation and domination. Class consciousness is the mental construct that provide an individual with cognitive framework regarding the individual’s understanding of their role in the society and the forces governing his life. Moreover, Karl Marx states that the dominant ideology is the system of ideas on which individuals comprehend their world (Ferrante-Wallace, 2013).

Weber defines class as the social concept that emanates from the economic order, based on relationships to the markets, for instance debtors, financiers, landowners and doctors. Further, people of the same class are found in the same class situation. A status group is the community in a situation determined by specific social estimation of honor. They are formed depending on shared characteristics, such as musical tastes and religion. Parties’ main concern is power and maybe a combination of class and status. Parties have a common goal of consolidating power and control. They attempt to influence social action, for example trade unions (Ferrante-Wallace, 2013).

While Marx defined society to include two groups in terms of classes that own or do not own the means of production and must sell labor power to those who do, Weber argues that it is impossible to reduce a group’s organization to a single dimension, for instance ownership. Further, Weber states that people strive to achieve ends using several means, which may give rise to status groups, parties or classes.  

 

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