What Is Social Classical Theory?


Vincent White

Social classical theory is a theoretical framework that seeks to explain the behavior of individuals and groups in society. This theory is based on the ideas of several prominent social theorists, including Karl Marx, Max Weber, and Emile Durkheim. In this article, we will discuss the key concepts of social classical theory and its relevance in contemporary society.

Key Concepts of Social Classical Theory

Social Structure: Social classical theory emphasizes the importance of social structure in shaping human behavior. According to this theory, social structures such as institutions, norms, and values have a significant impact on how individuals interact with each other and with society as a whole.

Class Conflict: Another central concept of social classical theory is class conflict. This refers to the idea that different classes in society have competing interests and goals. For example, Marx believed that the bourgeoisie (the wealthy capitalist class) had a vested interest in exploiting the proletariat (the working class) for their labor.

Rationalization: Max Weber introduced the concept of rationalization, which refers to the process by which traditional or emotional ways of thinking and behaving are replaced by rational calculation. This process has led to many positive developments in modern society but has also had negative consequences such as bureaucracy and alienation.

The Relevance of Social Classical Theory Today

Despite being developed over a century ago, social classical theory remains relevant today. The concepts of social structure and class conflict are still useful tools for understanding contemporary society. For example, income inequality continues to be a major issue in many countries around the world, highlighting the ongoing relevance of class conflict.

Additionally, Max Weber’s concept of rationalization is particularly relevant in today’s world where technology has led to increased efficiency but also increased alienation from each other and from nature.


In conclusion, social classical theory offers valuable insights into the behavior of individuals and groups in society. The concepts of social structure, class conflict, and rationalization provide a framework for understanding the complex interactions between individuals and institutions in contemporary society. By incorporating these ideas into our analyses of social phenomena, we can better understand the world around us and work towards creating a more just and equitable society.