Bourgeoisie – The Capitalists Who Own the Means of Production

In Marxist theory, the bourgeoisie are the capitalists who own the means of production, such as factories and land, and exploit the working class for their own gain. The bourgeoisie are typically seen as being opposed to the proletariat or working class.

The term “bourgeoisie” is derived from the French word for “townsmen”, which was used to describe the middle class in contrast to the rural peasantry. In Marxist theory, the bourgeoisie are considered to be a major source of class conflict, as they are thought to exploit the working class and oppress them in order to maintain their own power and wealth.

Historically, the bourgeoisie replaced the aristocracy as the dominant social class in many Western societies during the Industrial Revolution.

The rise of the bourgeoisie was a major factor in the development of capitalism, as they were the class that had the most to gain from the system. In capitalist societies, the bourgeoisie are typically the wealthiest and most powerful social group.

Anthropologists have studied the bourgeoisie in a variety of contexts and in different societies, from their role in causing and exacerbating class conflict, to their impact on economic development and social change.

Related terms:

Capitalism – an economic system in which private individuals or businesses own the means of production and operate for profit.

Proletariat – the working class, who are exploited by the bourgeoisie under capitalism.

Class conflict – conflict between social groups that is based on economic status.

Social inequality – the unequal distribution of resources and opportunities within a society.

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