he the classes privileged through property and

February 25, 2019 Education

he theory that I will focus on is Max Weber’s
theory on social class. Much like Marx,
Weber believed that class was related to wealth. However, Weber separated status and class in
his theory, and status was
not
necessarily
dependent on wealth.
Regarding social class, Weber
points out four social class
es and they are: “a) the working class as a whole… b) the petty
bourgeoisie c) the
propertyless intelligentsia and specialists… d) the classes privileged
through property and education” (Weber 305). Weber also writes
:
In the generational sequence, the ri
se of groups a) and b) into c) (technicians,
white

collar workers) is relatively the easiest… In banks and corporations as well
as in the higher ranks of the civil service, class c) members have a chance to move
up into class d
) (Weber 305).
This means th
at, according to Weber, a person does not, necessarily, remain in the same social
class forever as it is dependent on factors suc
h as work, wealth and property.
With Weber’s
class definitions, the characte
rs in the novel belong to different classes.
T
he
Buchanans
and
Jay Gatsby
belong to the class privileged through property and education, Nick
Carraway
could be considered to be a member of the propertyless intelligentsia and the Wilsons are
members of the working class.
On the subject of statu
s
, Weber
claims
: “Status
may
rest on a class position of a distinct
or ambiguous kind. However, it is not solely determined by it: Money and entrepreneurial
7
position are not in themselves status qualifications, although they may lead to them


(Weber 306).
In comparison with social class, money does not guarantee a certain status. The
lack of something is not an automatic disqualification of a status (Weber 306).
Jordan Baker,
from the novel,
could be seen as an example of this
as her economic situation is
unknown but
she still has a status that is comparable with the Buchanans.
Weber
continues
on the matter
:
“The class position of an officer, a civil servant or a student may vary greatly according to
their wealth and yet not lead to a different status
since upbringing and education create
a
common style of life” (
306). This exemplifies the fact that there are other factors involved in
determining status compared with social class
. Upbringing and education can contribute to a
common style of life and val
ues that brings peopl

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