Literary Criticism: Social Class (Marxist) Criticism
The Marxist school follows a process of thinking called the material dialectic. This belief system maintains that "...what drives historical change are the material realities of the economic base of society, rather than the ideological superstructure of politics, law, philosophy, religion, and art that is built upon that economic base". Marx asserts that "...stable societies develop sites of resistance: contradictions build into the social system that ultimately lead to social revolution and the development of a new society upon the old" (1088). This cycle of contradiction, tension, and revolution must continue: there will always be conflict between the upper, middle, and lower (working) classes and this conflict will be reflected in literature and other forms of expression - art, music, movies, etc.
Rosenberg (2007) argues that Marxists perceive capitalism as a form of an economic system that creates inequality in the society by favouring accumulation of wealth and class struggles (p. 8).
Functionalists seem bias towards the wealth along with Marx and Weber.Whoever may be right or wrong, to be able to improve on life chances in general it is necessary to have a class structure.
Milios, J., 2000. Social Classes in Classical and Marxist Political Economy. American Journal of Economics and Sociology, 59(2), pp. 283–302.
Rosenberg, J., 2007. Marxism and International Relations. University of Sussex, pp. 1-26.
Walker, R., & Greenberg, D., 2003. A Guide for the Ley Reader of Marxism. The Journal of Socialist Theory, 6(5), pp. 38-42.
Wolff, E., & Zacharias, A., 2007. Class Structure and Economic Inequality. Levy Economics Institute, pp. 1-42.