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  1. Chapter 8: Contrast Marx’s and Weber’s models of social class.
  2. Chapter 8: Explain the problems in drawing the poverty line and how poverty is related to race-ethnicity, education, feminization, and age.
  3. Chapter 9: Contrast prejudice and discrimination, as well as, individual and institutional discrimination AND give an example of each.
  4. Chapter 9: Explain genocide, population transfer, internal colonialism, segregation, and assimilation – providing examples of each.

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School: Cornell University



Sociology Essay Questions


Contrast Marx’s and Weber’s models of social class.
In most societies, the issue of social class is a significant concern due to the inequality
that exists between members of the society (Kerbo, 2006). Karl Marx and Max Weber developed
models that try to explain how inequality is maintained among members of the society. The two
models are based on economic inequality (Kerbo, 2006). Karl Marx explains the concept of
social class in terms of class struggle. According to Karl Marx, class struggle shapes and
constrains the lives of the members of a particular society. As such, it is the process of class
struggle that informs the social and personal identities of every member of the society (Kerbo,
2006). As such, every member of the society occupies a particular class position in the society,
regardless of their awareness of their position. Marx divides the society into two distinct classes
– the bourgeoisie and the proletariat (Kerbo, 2006). The bourgeoisie owns and controls all means
of production while the proletariat does not own any means of production. Therefore, the
bourgeoisie normally exploits the proletariat in order to maximize profits. Precisely, the ruling
class exploits and oppresses the subject class. Thus, Marx’s theory only focuses on two main
class divisions in the society and does not recognize any intermediate division (Kerbo, 2006).
According to Marx, intermediate class had a very insignificant effect on social change.
In contrast to Marx’s ideas, Weber’s classes, however, are based on human relationships
in the society. Economic markets formed the basis of Weber’s social classes, to the extent that
classes originate from market relationships (Kerbo, 2006). Thus, the position of the individual,

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