Friday, October 29, 2010

The rise and fall of the Weberian Analysis of Class

Class has been closely linked to racial categorisation the by many philosophers, the Weberian analysis of class was an attempt to understand class formation in societal structures. To may analysis why the Weberian analysis was closely linked to the South Africa was according to Seeking’s (2009; 867) citation that Weber recognised the ownership of property and means of production as an important paradox to enhance unequal opportunities and the need to further social recognition. In the 1950s the apartheid government discrimination and the objective to further economic interests of white was in the bid to achieve whites social recognition and inner satisfaction among themselves thereby creating to class that of the Africa proletariat and the white bourgeoisie.
I concur with Weber’s philosophical ideas that class is based in economic interest, status concerns prestige and honour and the deference and derogation associated with this. The apartheid government policies to my own thoughts led to Weberian analysis of class to be relevant to the South African scenario because of the white race monopolisation of the scarce economic resources which is linked to status and class categorization. With the rampart technological change in the early 1960s notably creating the capitalist class that controlled the means of production is a contributing factor to the South African relation to the Weberian approach.

Research by John Dollard according to Seeking (2009;868) to the racially segregated town of Southertown demonstrates that in that period caste had replaced slavery as a means to maintain the essence of the old status. The aspects ascriptive membership of hierarchically ranked groups, impossibility of crossing to another group to another and prohibitions of intermarriage was in the Weberian analysis of class of South America was also within the South African context. I concur with Seeking (2009;870) citation of the Kuper’s analysis to South African in relation with the Weberian approach of class that in South Africa proletarianisation of the Native was one form in which race conflict was expressed. Although the author cites that the Weberian analysis to class has disintegrated in the modern South Africa l do not ascertain that this philosophy was carefully thought off as ownership of means of production is the most radical explanation to creation of status and class. It might of relevance according to Seeking (2009;878) that intra-racial status order may have based on respect, prestige, and deference but inter-racial order was based primarily on coercion, and that status distinction coexisted with differentiation by occupational class.
The Marxists disapprove the Weberian approach citing that it lacks origins of class structure but this to my own thoughts is not valid to really overthrow Weberian analysis within the South African context. I have learnt from this reading that stratification of class and status has led to the inequalities between South Africa racial groupings and that leading scientists of sociology have tried to separate status and class which is very difficult as they all ascertain the racial grouping an individual belong to.

Bibliography Seekings,J. “the Rise and Fall of the Weberian Analyis of Class in South Africa Between 1949 and the early 1970s.” Journal of South African Studies.Vol. 35,No4, October 200