proletariat

2 ENTRIES FOUND:

pro·le·tar·i·at

noun \ˌprō-lə-ˈter-ē-ət, -ē-ˌat\

Definition of PROLETARIAT

1
:  the laboring class; especially :  the class of industrial workers who lack their own means of production and hence sell their labor to live
2
:  the lowest social or economic class of a community

Examples of PROLETARIAT

  1. <the Bolsheviks believed that Russia's discontented proletariat made that nation ripe for revolution>

Origin of PROLETARIAT

French prolétariat, from Latin proletarius
First Known Use: 1847

Other Sociology Terms

bourgeois, ethos, eugenics, exurb, incommunicado, intelligentsia, megalopolis, metrosexual, mores, subculture

Rhymes with PROLETARIAT

proletariat

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

The lowest, or one among the lowest, economic and social classes in a society. In ancient Rome, the proletariat were poor landless freemen who, crowded out of the labour market by the extension of slavery, became parasites on the economy. Karl Marx used the term to refer to the class of wage earners engaged in industrial production only (the broader term working class included all those obliged to work for a living). Another of Marx's categories, the lumpenproletariat (lumpen meaning “rags”), comprised marginal and unemployable workers, paupers, beggars, and criminals. Marxian theory predicted a transitional phase between the abolition of capitalism and the establishment of communism during which a “dictatorship of the proletariat” would suppress resistance to the socialist revolution by the bourgeoisie, destroy the social relations of production underlying the class system, and create a new, classless society.

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