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proletariat vs. bourgeoisie

proletariat vs. bourgeoisie: What's the difference?

Proletariat and bourgeoisie are terms that refer to people of a particular socioeconomic class, especially in Marxist theory. The proletariat are people who earn a wage for a living, especially people who are dependent on manual, daily, or casual labor. The bourgeoisie are those who make their living through property or through ownership of the means of production.

[ proh-li-tair-ee-uht ]
  1. the class of wage earners, especially those who earn their living by manual labor or who are dependent for support on daily or casual employment; the working class.
  2. (in Marxist theory) the class of workers, especially industrial wage earners, who do not possess capital or property and must sell their labor to survive.
  3. the lowest or poorest class of people, possessing no property, especially in ancient Rome.
[ boor-zhwah-zee; French boor-zhwa-zee ]
  1. the bourgeois class.
  2. (in Marxist theory) the class that, in contrast to the proletariat or wage-earning class, is primarily concerned with property values.

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