HOME

TheInfoList




Bourgeoisie (; ) is a
polysemous Polysemy ( or ; from grc-gre, πολύ-, , "many" and , , "sign") is the capacity for a word or phrase to have multiple meanings, usually related by contiguity of meaning within a semantic fieldIn linguistics Linguistics is the science, s ...
French term that can mean: * a sociologically defined
social class A social class is a set of concepts in the social sciences Social science is the Branches of science, branch of science devoted to the study of society, societies and the Social relation, relationships among individuals within those soc ...
, especially in contemporary times, referring to people with a certain
cultural Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior Social behavior is behavior among two or more organisms within the same species, and encompasses any behavior in which one member affects the other. This is due to an int ...
and
financial capital Financial capital (also simply known as capital or equity in finance Finance is the study of financial institutions, financial markets and how they operate within the financial system. It is concerned with the creation and management of mon ...
belonging to the middle or
upper middle class In sociology, the upper middle class is the social group constituted by higher status members of the middle class. This is in contrast to the term ''lower middle class'', which is used for the group at the opposite end of the middle-class stratu ...
: the upper (''haute''), middle (''moyenne''), and petty (''petite'') bourgeoisie (which are collectively designated "the bourgeoisie"); an affluent and often opulent stratum of the
middle class The middle class is a class Class or The Class may refer to: Common uses not otherwise categorized * Class (biology), a taxonomic rank * Class (knowledge representation), a collection of individuals or objects * Class (philosophy), an an ...
as contrasted with the
proletariat The proletariat (; ) is the social class of wage labor, wage-earners, those members of a society whose only possession of significant economic value is their labour power (their capacity to work). A member of such a class is a proletarian. Marx ...

proletariat
class. * originally and generally, "those who live in the
borough A borough is an administrative division in various English language, English-speaking countries. In principle, the term ''borough'' designates a self-governing walled town, although in practice, official use of the term varies widely. History ...
", that is to say, the people of the city (including merchants and craftsmen), as opposed to those of
rural area A rural landscape in Lappeenranta, South Karelia, Finland. 15 July 2000.">South_Karelia.html" ;"title="Lappeenranta, South Karelia">Lappeenranta, South Karelia, Finland. 15 July 2000. In general, a rural area or a countryside is a geographic ...

rural area
s; in this sense, the bourgeoisie began to grow in Europe from the 11th century and particularly during the
Renaissance of the 12th century The Renaissance of the 12th century was a period of many changes at the outset of the High Middle Ages The High Middle Ages, or High Medieval Period, was the period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full sto ...
(i.e., the onset of the High Middle Ages), with the first developments of
rural exodus Rural flight (or rural exodus) is the migratory pattern of peoples from rural areas A rural landscape in Lappeenranta, South Karelia, Finland. 15 July 2000. In general, a rural area or countryside is a geographic area that is located outsid ...

rural exodus
and
urbanization Urbanization (or urbanisation) refers to the population shift from rural File:Rural landscape in Finland.jpg, A rural landscape in Lappeenranta, South Karelia, Finland. 15 July 2000. In general, a rural area or a countryside is a geographi ...
. * a legally defined
class Class or The Class may refer to: Common uses not otherwise categorized * Class (biology), a taxonomic rank * Class (knowledge representation), a collection of individuals or objects * Class (philosophy), an analytical concept used differently f ...
of the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
to the end of the ''
Ancien Régime The '' Storming of the Bastille'' on 14 July 1789, later taken to mark the end of the ''Ancien Régime''; watercolour by Jean-Pierre Houël The Ancien Régime (; ; literally "old rule"), also known as the Old Regime, was the political and soc ...
'' (Old Regime) in French-speaking Europe, that of inhabitants' having the rights of citizenship and political rights in a
city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Routledge. It can be defined as a ...

city
(comparable to the German term ''Bürgertum'' and ''
Bürger Bürger or Buerger may refer to: * Gottfried August Bürger, German poet * Heinrich Bürger Heinrich Burger in Edo. Drawing in ink by Watanabe Kazan, Kazan Watanabe, 1826 Heinrich Bürger (or: Heinrich Burger) (Hamelin, 29 February 1804, or 7 Nov ...
''; see also " Burgher", and to the British term " Burgess"). The "bourgeoisie" in its original sense is intimately linked to the existence of cities recognized as such by their urban charters (e.g.,
municipal charterA city charter or town charter (generically, municipal charter) is a legal document A document is a writing, written, drawing, drawn, presented, or memorialized representation of thought, often the manifestation of nonfiction, non-fictional, as we ...
,
town privileges File:Square of Spisska Sobota 6.jpg, 250px, Medieval square in Spišská Sobota, Slovakia (Now Poprad). The former name of the town literally means "Saturday in Spiš" and it is derived from a day of week in which the town was granted a right ...
,
German town lawThe German town law (german: Deutsches Stadtrecht) or German municipal concerns (''Deutsches Städtewesen'') was a set of early town privileges based on the Magdeburg rights developed by Otto I. The Magdeburg Law became the inspiration for regional t ...
), so there was no bourgeoisie "outside the walls of the city" beyond which the people were "
peasant A peasant is a pre-industrial Pre-industrial society refers to social attributes and forms of political and cultural organization that were prevalent before the advent of the Industrial Revolution The Industrial Revolution was the tra ...
s" submitted to the stately courts and
manorialism Manorialism, also known as the manor system or manorial system, was the method of land ownership (or "Land tenure, tenure") in parts of Europe, notably England, during the Middle Ages. Its defining features included a large, sometimes fortif ...
(except for the traveling "
fair A fair (archaic: faire or fayre) is a gathering of people for a variety of entertainment or commercial activities. It is normally of the essence of a fair that it is temporary with scheduled times lasting from an afternoon to several weeks. Typ ...

fair
bourgeoisie" living outside urban territories, who retained their city rights and domicile). In
Marxist philosophy Marxist philosophy or Marxist theory are works in philosophy that are strongly influenced by Karl Marx's Historical materialism, materialist approach to theory, or works written by Marxists. Marxist philosophy may be broadly divided into Western Ma ...
, the bourgeoisie is the social class that came to own the
means of production The means of production is a concept that encompasses the social use and ownership Ownership is the state or fact of exclusive right In Anglo-Saxon law Anglo-Saxon law (Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest record ...
during modern
industrialization Factories, refineries, mines, and agribusiness are all elements of industrialisation Industrialisation ( alternatively spelled industrialization) is the period of social and economic change that transforms a human group from an agrarian societ ...
and whose societal concerns are the value of
property Property is a system of rights that gives people legal control of valuable things, and also refers to the valuable things themselves. Depending on the nature of the property, an owner of property may have the right to consume, alter, share, r ...
and the preservation of capital to ensure the perpetuation of their economic supremacy in society.
Joseph Schumpeter Joseph Alois Schumpeter (; February 8, 1883 – January 8, 1950) was an Austrian political economist. He was born in Moravia Moravia ( , also , ; cs, Morava ; german: link=no, Mähren ; pl, Morawy ; szl, Morawijo; la, Moravia) is a h ...
saw the incorporation of new elements into an expanding bourgeoisie, particularly entrepreneurs who took risks to bring innovation to industries and the economy through the process of
creative destruction Creative destruction (German: ''schöpferische Zerstörung''), sometimes known as Schumpeter's gale, is a concept in economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in particular, the Production ( ...
, as the driving force behind the capitalist engine.


Etymology

The
Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance language The Romance languages, less commonly Latin or Neo-Latin languages, are the modern languages that evolved from Vulgar Latin Vulgar Latin, also known as Popular or Colloquial Latin is a range of info ...
word ''bourgeois'' (; ) derived from the
Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance language The Romance languages, less commonly Latin or Neo-Latin languages, are the modern languages that evolved from Vulgar Latin Vulgar Latin, also known as Popular o ...
''burgeis'' (walled city), which derived from ''bourg'' (
market town A market town is a European settlement that obtained by custom or royal charter, in the Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and p ...
), from the
Old Frankish Frankish (language reconstruction, reconstructed endonym: *), also known as Old Franconian or Old Frankish, was the West Germanic language spoken by the Franks between the 4th and 8th century. After the Salian Franks settled in Roman Gaul, its ...
''burg'' (town); in other European languages, the etymologic derivations include the
Middle English Middle English (abbreviated to ME) was a form of the English language English is a West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language is a structured sys ...
''burgeis'', the
Middle Dutch Middle Dutch is a collective name for a number of closely related West Germanic languages, West Germanic dialects whose ancestor was Old Dutch and was spoken and written between 1150 and 1500. The language served as a minority language in the Holy ...
''burgher'', the German ''Bürger'', the
Modern English Modern English (sometimes New English or NE (ME) as opposed to Middle English Middle English (abbreviated to ME) was a form of the English language spoken after the Norman conquest of England, Norman conquest (1066) until the late 15th cen ...

Modern English
'' burgess'', the Spanish ''burgués'', the Portuguese ''burguês'', and the Polish ''burżuazja'', which occasionally is synonymous with the "
intelligentsia The intelligentsia is a status class The German sociologist Max Weber Maximilian Karl Emil Weber (; ; 21 April 186414 June 1920) was a German Sociology, sociologist, historian, jurist, and political economy, political economist, who is regar ...
". In its literal sense, ''bourgeois'' in Old French (''burgeis, borjois'') means "town dweller". In English, the word "bourgeoisie" (a French citizen-class) identified a social class oriented to
economic materialism :''This article addresses materialism in the economic sense of the word. For information on the philosophical and scientific meanings, see materialism.'' Materialism is a personal attitude which attaches importance to acquiring and consuming materia ...
and
hedonism Hedonism refers to a family of theories, all of which have in common that ''pleasure Pleasure refers to experience that feels good, that involves the enjoyment of something. It contrasts with pain Pain is a distressing feeling often cau ...
, and to upholding the extreme political and economic interests of the capitalist ruling-class. In the 18th century, before the
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a spanning and in the and the , and s. Its ...

French Revolution
(1789–99), in the French feudal order, the masculine and feminine terms ''bourgeois'' and ''bourgeoise'' identified the rich men and women who were members of the urban and rural
Third Estate Image:Cleric-Knight-Workman.jpg, 250px, A 13th-century French representation of the tripartite social order of the Middle Ages – ''Oratores'' ("those who pray"), ''Bellatores'' ("those who fight"), and ''Laboratores'' ("those who work"). The esta ...
– the common people of the French realm, who violently deposed the
absolute monarchy Absolute monarchy (or absolutism as doctrine) is a form of monarchy in which the monarch holds supreme autocracy, autocratic authority, principally not being restricted by written laws, legislature, or customs. These are often hereditary monar ...
of the
BourbonBourbon may refer to: Food and drink * Bourbon whiskey, an American whiskey made using a corn-based mash * Bourbon barrel aged beer, a type of beer aged in bourbon barrels * Bourbon biscuit, a chocolate sandwich biscuit * A beer produced by Brass ...

Bourbon
King
Louis XVI Louis XVI (Louis-Auguste; ; 23 August 175421 January 1793) was the last King of France The monarchs of the Kingdom of France The Kingdom of France ( fro, Reaume de France, frm, Royaulme de France, french: link=no, Royaume de France) wa ...

Louis XVI
(r. 1774–91), his clergy, and his
aristocrats Aristocracy ( grc-gre, ἀριστοκρατία , from 'excellent', and , 'rule') is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state. In the case of its bro ...
in the
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a spanning and in the and the , and s. Its ...

French Revolution
of 1789–1799. Hence, since the 19th century, the term "bourgeoisie" usually is politically and sociologically synonymous with the ruling upper-class of a capitalist society. Historically, the medieval French word ''bourgeois'' denoted the inhabitants of the ''bourgs'' (walled market-towns), the
craft A craft or trade is a pastime or an occupation that requires particular skills and knowledge of skilled work. In a historical sense, particularly the Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted ap ...
smen,
artisan Wood carver in Bali An artisan (from french: artisan, it, artigiano) is a skilled craft worker who makes or creates material objects partly or entirely by hand. These objects may be functional or strictly decorative, for example fur ...

artisan
s,
merchant A merchant is a person who trades in commodities In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in particular, the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distributi ...

merchant
s, and others, who constituted "the bourgeoisie". They were the socio-economic class between the peasants and the landlords, between the
workers The workforce or labour force is the labour pool either in employment or unemployed.https://www.bls.gov/bls/glossary.htm It is generally used to describe those working for a single types of companies, company or Industry (economics), industr ...
and the owners of the
means of production The means of production is a concept that encompasses the social use and ownership Ownership is the state or fact of exclusive right In Anglo-Saxon law Anglo-Saxon law (Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest record ...
. As the economic
manager Management (or managing) is the administration of an organization An organization, or organisation ( Commonwealth English; see spelling differences), is an entity – such as a company, an institution, or an association – comprisi ...

manager
s of the (raw) materials, the goods, and the services, and thus the
capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lowercase (or more formally ''minusc ...
(money) produced by the feudal economy, the term "bourgeoisie" evolved to also denote the middle class – the businessmen and businesswomen who accumulated, administered, and controlled the capital that made possible the development of the bourgs into cities."Bourgeoisie", ''The Columbia Encyclopedia'', Fifth Edition. (1994) p. 0000. Contemporarily, the terms "bourgeoisie" and "bourgeois" (noun) identify the ruling class in capitalist societies, as a social stratum; while "bourgeois" (adjective / noun modifier) describes the ''Weltanschauung'' (
worldview upright=1.8, Religious practices will tie closely to a religion's worldview. A worldview or world-view is the fundamental cognitive Cognition () refers to "the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thoug ...

worldview
) of men and women whose way of thinking is socially and culturally determined by their economic
materialism Materialism is a form of philosophical monism which holds matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All everyday objects that can be touched are ultimate ...
and
philistinism Image:Matthew Arnold - Project Gutenberg eText 16745.jpg, 200px, The British poet and cultural critic Matthew Arnold adapted the German word ''Philister'' to English as the word ''philistine'' to denote anti-intellectualism. In the fields of philo ...
, a social identity famously mocked in
Molière Jean-Baptiste Poquelin (; 15 January 1622 (baptised) – 17 February 1673), known by his stage name Molière (, , ), was a French playwright, actor, and poet, widely regarded as one of the greatest writers in the French language Fre ...

Molière
's comedy ''
Le Bourgeois gentilhomme ''Le Bourgeois gentilhomme'' (, ''The Bourgeois Gentleman'' or ''The Middle-Class Aristocrat'' or ''The Would-Be Noble'') is a five-act ''comédie-ballet ''Comédie-ballet'' is a genre of French drama which mixes a spoken play with interludes co ...
'' (1670), which satirizes buying the trappings of a noble-birth identity as the means of climbing the social ladder. The 18th century saw a partial rehabilitation of bourgeois values in genres such as the ''drame bourgeois'' (bourgeois drama) and "
bourgeois tragedyBourgeois tragedy (German: ''Bürgerliches Trauerspiel'') is a form of tragedy that developed in 18th-century Europe. It is a fruit of the the Age of Enlightenment, enlightenment and the emergence of the Bourgeois, bourgeois class and its ideals. It ...
".


History


Origins and rise

The bourgeoisie emerged as a historical and political phenomenon in the 11th century when the ''bourgs'' of Central and Western Europe developed into cities dedicated to commerce. This urban expansion was possible thanks to economic concentration due to the appearance of protective self-organisation into
guilds A guild is an association of s and s who oversee the practice of their craft/trade in a particular area. The earliest types of guild formed as organizations of tradesmen, belonging to: a , a , a , and/or a . They sometimes depended on grants ...
. Guilds arose when individual businessmen (such as craftsmen, artisans and merchants) conflicted with their
rent-seeking In public-choice theory, as well as in economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in particular, the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distribution, and Consumpt ...
feudal
landlord A landlord is the owner of a house A house is a single-unit residential building A building, or edifice, is a structure with a roof and walls standing more or less permanently in one place, such as a house or factory. Buildings come in a ...
s who demanded greater
rent Rent may refer to: Economics *Renting Renting, also known as hiring or letting, is an agreement where a payment is made for the temporary use of a good, service or owned by another. A is when the pays a flat rental amount and the pays ...
s than previously agreed. In the event, by the end of the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
(c. AD 1500), under régimes of the early national monarchies of Western Europe, the bourgeoisie acted in self-interest, and politically supported the king or queen against
legal Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is described by its boundari ...
and financial disorder caused by the greed of the feudal lords. In the late-16th and early 17th centuries, the bourgeoisies of England and the Netherlands had become the financial – thus political – forces that deposed the feudal order;
economic power Economists An economist is a professional and practitioner in the social science Social science is the Branches of science, branch of science devoted to the study of society, societies and the Social relation, relationships among individu ...
had vanquished military power in the realm of politics.


From progress to reaction (in the Marxist view)

According to the Marxist view of history, during the 17th and 18th centuries, the bourgeoisie were the politically
progressive Progressive may refer to: Politics * Progressivism is a political philosophy in support of social reform Political organizations * Congressional Progressive Caucus, members within the Democratic Party in the United States Congress dedicated to th ...
social class who supported the principles of
constitutional government A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles A principle is a proposition or value that is a guide for behavior or evaluation. In law, it is a rule Rule or ruling may refer to: Human activity * The exercise of political ...

constitutional government
and of
natural right Natural rights and legal rights are the two basic types of rights. * Natural rights are those that are not dependent on the laws or customs of any particular culture or government, and so are ''universal'', ''fundamental rights, fundamental'' an ...
, against the Law of Privilege and the claims of rule by divine right that the
nobles Nobility is a normally ranked immediately below and found in some societies that have a formal . Nobility has often been an that possessed more acknowledged and higher than most other classes in society. The privileges associated wi ...
and
prelate A prelate () is a high-ranking member of the clergy Clergy are formal leaders within established s. Their roles and functions vary in different religious traditions, but usually involve presiding over specific rituals and teaching their r ...
s had autonomously exercised during the feudal order. The
English Civil War The English Civil War (1642–1651) was a series of civil wars and political machinations between Parliamentarians ("Roundheads") and Royalists ("Cavaliers"), mainly over the manner of Kingdom of England, England's governance and issues of re ...
(1642–51), the
American War of Independence The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the Revolutionary War and the American War of Independence, was initiated by delegates from thirteen American colonies of British America British America comprised the colonia ...
(1775–83), and
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a spanning and in the and the , and s. Its ...

French Revolution
(1789–99) were partly motivated by the desire of the bourgeoisie to rid themselves of the feudal and royal encroachments on their personal liberty, commercial prospects, and the ownership of
property Property is a system of rights that gives people legal control of valuable things, and also refers to the valuable things themselves. Depending on the nature of the property, an owner of property may have the right to consume, alter, share, r ...
. In the 19th century, the bourgeoisie propounded liberalism, and gained political rights, religious rights, and civil liberties for themselves and the lower social classes; thus the bourgeoisie was a progressive philosophic and political force in Western societies. After the
Industrial Revolution The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in Great Britain, continental Europe Continental Europe or mainland Europe is the contiguous continent A continent is any of several large landmasse ...
(1750–1850), by the mid-19th century the great expansion of the bourgeoisie social class caused its
stratification Stratification may refer to: In mathematics: * Stratification (mathematics), any consistent assignment of numbers to predicate symbols * Stratified sampling , Data stratification in statistics In earth sciences: * Stable and unstable stratificati ...
– by business activity and by economic function – into the ''haute bourgeoisie'' (bankers and industrialists) and the ''
petite bourgeoisie ''Petite bourgeoisie'' (, literally small bourgeoisie), also ''petty bourgeoisie'', is a French term (sometimes derogatory) referring to a social class A social class is a set of concepts in the social sciences and political theory Polit ...
'' (
tradesmen A tradesman, skilled tradesman, or tradie refers to a skilled worker who specializes in a particular Trade (occupation), occupation that requires work experience, on-the-job training, and often formal vocational education, but not a bachelor's de ...

tradesmen
and
white-collar worker A white-collar worker is a person who performs professional, desk, managerial, or administrative work. White-collar work may be performed in an office or other administrative setting. White-collar workers include job paths related to government ...
s). Moreover, by the end of the 19th century, the capitalists (the original bourgeoisie) had ascended to the upper class, while the developments of technology and technical occupations allowed the rise of working-class men and women to the lower strata of the bourgeoisie; yet the social progress was incidental.


Denotations


Marxist theory

According to
Karl Marx Karl Heinrich Marx (; 5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was a German philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, M ...

Karl Marx
, the bourgeois during the Middle Ages usually was a self-employed businessman – such as a merchant, banker, or entrepreneur – whose economic role in society was being the financial intermediary to the
feudal Feudalism, also known as the feudal system, was the combination of the legal, economic, military, and cultural customs that flourished in Medieval Europe between the 9th and 15th centuries. Broadly defined, it was a way of structuring society ...
landlord A landlord is the owner of a house A house is a single-unit residential building A building, or edifice, is a structure with a roof and walls standing more or less permanently in one place, such as a house or factory. Buildings come in a ...
and the
peasant A peasant is a pre-industrial Pre-industrial society refers to social attributes and forms of political and cultural organization that were prevalent before the advent of the Industrial Revolution The Industrial Revolution was the tra ...
who worked the
fief A fief (; la, feudum) was the central element of feudalism Feudalism, also known as the feudal system, was the combination of the legal, economic, military, and cultural customs that flourished in Medieval Europe In the hist ...
, the land of the lord. Yet, by the 18th century, the time of the
Industrial Revolution The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in Great Britain, continental Europe Continental Europe or mainland Europe is the contiguous continent A continent is any of several large landmasse ...
(1750–1850) and of industrial capitalism, the bourgeoisie had become the economic ruling class who owned the means of production (capital and land), and who controlled the means of coercion (armed forces and legal system, police forces and prison system). In such a society, the bourgeoisie's ownership of the means of production allowed them to employ and exploit the wage-earning working class (urban and rural), people whose only economic means is labour; and the bourgeois control of the means of coercion suppressed the sociopolitical challenges by the lower classes, and so preserved the economic status quo; workers remained workers, and employers remained employers. In the 19th century, Marx distinguished two types of bourgeois capitalist: (i) the functional capitalists, who are business administrators of the means of production; and (ii) rentier capitalists whose livelihoods derive either from the
rent Rent may refer to: Economics *Renting Renting, also known as hiring or letting, is an agreement where a payment is made for the temporary use of a good, service or owned by another. A is when the pays a flat rental amount and the pays ...
of property or from the
interest In finance Finance is the study of financial institutions, financial markets and how they operate within the financial system. It is concerned with the creation and management of money and investments. Savers and investors have money availa ...

interest
-income produced by finance capital, or both. In the course of economic relations, the working class and the bourgeoisie continually engage in
class struggle Class conflict, also referred to as class struggle and class warfare, is the political tension and economic antagonism that exists in society A society is a Social group, group of individuals involved in persistent Social relation, socia ...
, where the capitalists
exploit Exploit means to take advantage of something (a person, situation, etc.) for one's own end, especially unethically or unjustifiably. Exploit can mean: *Exploitation of natural resources The exploitation of natural resources is the use of natural ...
the workers, while the workers resist their economic exploitation, which occurs because the worker owns no means of production, and, to earn a living, seeks employment from the bourgeois capitalist; the worker produces goods and services that are property of the employer, who sells them for a price. Besides describing the
social class A social class is a set of concepts in the social sciences Social science is the Branches of science, branch of science devoted to the study of society, societies and the Social relation, relationships among individuals within those soc ...
who owns the
means of production The means of production is a concept that encompasses the social use and ownership Ownership is the state or fact of exclusive right In Anglo-Saxon law Anglo-Saxon law (Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest record ...
, the Marxist use of the term "bourgeois" also describes the
consumerist ''Consumerist'' (also known as ''The Consumerist'') was a non-profit A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entity organized and operated for a c ...
style of life derived from the ownership of
capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lowercase (or more formally ''minusc ...
and
real property In England, English common law, real property, real estate, realty, or immovable property is land which is the property of some person and all structures (also called Land improvement, improvements or Fixture (property law), fixtures) integr ...
. Marx acknowledged the bourgeois industriousness that created wealth, but criticised the moral hypocrisy of the bourgeoisie when they ignored the alleged origins of their wealth: the exploitation of the proletariat, the urban and rural workers. Further sense denotations of "bourgeois" describe ideological concepts such as "bourgeois freedom", which is thought to be opposed to substantive forms of freedom; "bourgeois independence"; "bourgeois personal individuality"; the "bourgeois family"; et cetera, all derived from owning capital and property (see ''
The Communist Manifesto ''The Communist Manifesto'', originally the ''Manifesto of the Communist Party'' (german: Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei), is an 1848 pamphlet by German philosophers Karl Marx Karl Heinrich Marx (; 5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was ...
'', 1848).


France and French-speaking countries

In English, the term ''bourgeoisie'' is often used to denote the middle classes. In fact, the French term encompasses both the upper and middle classes, a misunderstanding which has occurred in other languages as well. The bourgeoisie in France and many French-speaking countries consists of four evolving social layers: ''petite bourgeoisie'', ''moyenne bourgeoisie'', ''grande bourgeoisie'', and ''haute bourgeoisie''.


''Petite bourgeoisie''

The ''petite bourgeoisie'' is the equivalent of the modern-day middle class, or refers to "a social class between the middle class and the lower class: the lower middle class".


''Moyenne bourgeoisie''

The ''moyenne bourgeoisie'' or middle bourgeoisie contains people who have solid incomes and assets, but not the aura of those who have become established at a higher level. They tend to belong to a family that has been bourgeois for three or more generations. Some members of this class may have relatives from similar backgrounds, or may even have aristocratic connections. The ''moyenne bourgeoisie'' is the equivalent of the British and American upper-middle classes.


''Grande bourgeoisie''

The ''grande bourgeoisie'' are families that have been bourgeois since the 19th century, or for at least four or five generations. Members of these families tend to marry with the aristocracy or make other advantageous marriages. This bourgeois family has acquired an established historical and cultural heritage over the decades. The names of these families are generally known in the city where they reside, and their ancestors have often contributed to the region's history. These families are respected and revered. They belong to the upper class, and in the British class system are considered part of the gentry.


''Haute bourgeoisie''

The ''haute bourgeoisie'' is a social rank in the bourgeoisie that can only be acquired through time. In France, it is composed of bourgeois families that have existed since the French Revolution. They hold only honourable professions and have experienced many illustrious marriages in their family's history. They have rich cultural and historical heritages, and their financial means are more than secure. These families exude an aura of nobility, which prevents them from certain marriages or occupations. They differ from nobility only in that because of circumstances, the lack of opportunity, and/or political regime, they have not been ennobled. These people nevertheless live lavishly, enjoying the company of the great artists of the time. In France, the families of the ''haute bourgeoisie'' are also referred to as ''les 200 familles'', a term coined in the first half of the 20th century. Michel Pinçon and Monique Pinçon-Charlot studied the lifestyle of the French bourgeoisie, and how they boldly guard their world from the ''nouveau riche'', or newly rich. In the French language, the term ''bourgeoisie'' almost designates a caste by itself, even though social mobility into this socio-economic group is possible. Nevertheless, the ''bourgeoisie'' is differentiated from ''la classe moyenne'', or the middle class, which consists mostly of white-collar employees, by holding a profession referred to as a ''profession libérale'', which ''la classe moyenne'', in its definition does not hold. Yet, in English the definition of a white-collar job encompasses the ''profession libérale''.


Nazism

Nazism Nazism ( ), officially National Socialism (german: Nationalsozialismus, ), is the ideology An ideology () is a set of belief A belief is an Attitude (psychology), attitude that something is the case, or that some proposition about th ...

Nazism
rejected the
Marxist Marxism is a method of socioeconomic Socioeconomics (also known as social economics) is the social science that studies how economic activity affects and is shaped by social processes. In general it analyzes how modern societies progress, ...
concept of internationalist
class struggle Class conflict, also referred to as class struggle and class warfare, is the political tension and economic antagonism that exists in society A society is a Social group, group of individuals involved in persistent Social relation, socia ...
, but supported the "class struggle between nations", and sought to resolve internal class struggle in the nation while it identified Germany as a
proletariat The proletariat (; ) is the social class of wage labor, wage-earners, those members of a society whose only possession of significant economic value is their labour power (their capacity to work). A member of such a class is a proletarian. Marx ...

proletariat
nation fighting against
plutocratic A plutocracy ( el, πλοῦτος, ', 'wealth' and , ', 'power') or plutarchy is a society that is ruled or controlled by people of great wealth Wealth is the abundance (economics), abundance of Value (economics), valuable financial asse ...
nations. The
Nazi Party The Nazi Party, officially the National Socialist German Workers' Party (german: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei or NSDAP), was a far-right Far-right politics, also referred to as the extreme right or right-wing extremism, ...
had many working-class supporters and members, and a strong appeal to the
middle class The middle class is a class Class or The Class may refer to: Common uses not otherwise categorized * Class (biology), a taxonomic rank * Class (knowledge representation), a collection of individuals or objects * Class (philosophy), an an ...
. The financial collapse of the white collar middle-class of the 1920s figures much in their strong support of Nazism.Burleigh, Michael. ''The Third Reich: A New History'', New York, USA: Hill and Wang, 2000. p. 77. In the poor country that was the
Weimar Republic The Weimar Republic (german: Weimarer Republik ) was the German state from 1918 to 1933 when it functioned as a federal constitutional republic. The state was officially named the German Reich (german: Deutsches Reich, link=no, label=none), ...
of the early 1930s, the Nazi Party realised their social policies with food and shelter for the unemployed and the homeless—who were later recruited into the Brownshirt ''
Sturmabteilung The (; SA; literally "Storm Detachment Detachment or detached may refer to: * Single-family detached home A stand-alone house (also called a single-detached dwelling, detached residence or detached house) is a free-standing residential bu ...
'' (SA – Storm Detachments). Hitler was impressed by the
populist Populism refers to a range of political stances that emphasise the idea of "the people" and often juxtapose this group against "the elite". The term developed in the 19th century and has been applied to various politicians, parties, and moveme ...

populist
antisemitism Antisemitism (also spelled anti-semitism or anti-Semitism) is hostility to, prejudice, or discrimination against Jews. A person who holds such positions is called an antisemite. Antisemitism is generally considered to be a form of racism. A ...
and the anti-liberal bourgeois agitation of
Karl Lueger Karl Lueger (; 24 October 1844 – 10 March 1910) was an Austrian Austrian may refer to: * Austrians, someone from Austria or of Austrian descent ** Someone who is considered an Austrian citizen, see Austrian nationality law * Something associate ...
, who as the mayor of Vienna during Hitler's time in the city, used a rabble-rousing style of oratory that appealed to the wider masses. When asked whether he supported the "bourgeois right-wing",
Adolf Hitler Adolf Hitler (; 20 April 188930 April 1945) was an Austrian-born German politician who was the dictator of Nazi Germany, Germany from 1933 to 1945. Adolf Hitler's rise to power, He rose to power as the leader of the Nazi Party, becoming Cha ...

Adolf Hitler
claimed that
Nazism Nazism ( ), officially National Socialism (german: Nationalsozialismus, ), is the ideology An ideology () is a set of belief A belief is an Attitude (psychology), attitude that something is the case, or that some proposition about th ...

Nazism
was not exclusively for any
class Class or The Class may refer to: Common uses not otherwise categorized * Class (biology), a taxonomic rank * Class (knowledge representation), a collection of individuals or objects * Class (philosophy), an analytical concept used differently f ...
, and he also indicated that it favoured neither the
left Left may refer to: Music * ''Left'' (Hope of the States album), 2006 * ''Left'' (Monkey House album), 2016 * ''Left'' (Sharlok Poems album) Direction * Left (direction), the relative direction opposite of right * Left-handedness Politics * ...
nor the
right Rights are legal Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is desc ...
, but preserved "pure" elements from both "camps", stating: "From the camp of bourgeois tradition, it takes national resolve, and from the materialism of the Marxist dogma, living, creative Socialism".Adolf Hitler, Max Domarus. ''The Essential Hitler: Speeches and Commentary''. pp. 171, 172–173. Hitler distrusted capitalism for being unreliable due to its
egotism Egotism is defined as the drive to maintain and enhance favorable views of oneself, and generally features an inflated opinion of one's personal features and importance distinguished by a person's amplified vision of ones self and self importan ...
, and he preferred a state-directed economy that is subordinated to the interests of the ''
Volk The German noun ''Volk'' () translates to people A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason Reason is the capacity of consciously appl ...

Volk
''. Hitler told a party leader in 1934, "The economic system of our day is the creation of the Jews". Hitler said to that capitalism had "run its course". Hitler also said that the business bourgeoisie "know nothing except their profit. 'Fatherland' is only a word for them." Hitler was personally disgusted with the ruling bourgeois elites of Germany during the period of the Weimar Republic, who he referred to as "cowardly shits".


Modern history in Italy

Because of their ascribed cultural excellence as a social class, the
Italian fascist Italian Fascism ( it, fascismo italiano), also known as Classical Fascism or simply Fascism, is the original fascist Fascism () is a form of far-right, authoritarian ultranationalism characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppres ...
régime (1922–45) of Prime Minister regarded the bourgeoisie as an obstacle to
Modernism Modernism is both a philosophical movement A philosophical movement refers to the phenomenon defined by a group of philosophers A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and ...
.Bellassai, Sandro (2005) "The Masculine Mystique: Anti-Modernism and Virility in Fascist Italy", ''Journal of Modern Italian Studies'', 3, pp. 314–335. Nonetheless, the Fascist State ideologically exploited the Italian bourgeoisie and their materialistic, middle-class spirit, for the more efficient cultural manipulation of the upper (aristocratic) and the lower (working) classes of Italy. In 1938, Prime Minister Mussolini gave a speech wherein he established a clear ideological distinction between capitalism (the social function of the bourgeoisie) and the bourgeoisie (as a social class), whom he dehumanised by reducing them into high-level abstractions: a moral category and a state of mind. Culturally and philosophically, Mussolini isolated the bourgeoisie from Italian society by portraying them as social parasites upon the fascist Italian state and "The People"; as a social class who drained the human potential of Italian society, in general, and of the working class, in particular; as exploiters who victimised the Italian nation with an approach to life characterised by
hedonism Hedonism refers to a family of theories, all of which have in common that ''pleasure Pleasure refers to experience that feels good, that involves the enjoyment of something. It contrasts with pain Pain is a distressing feeling often cau ...
and
materialism Materialism is a form of philosophical monism which holds matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All everyday objects that can be touched are ultimate ...
. Nevertheless, despite the slogan ''The Fascist Man Disdains the ″Comfortable″ Life'', which epitomised the anti-bourgeois principle, in its final years of power, for mutual benefit and profit, the Mussolini fascist régime transcended ideology to merge the political and financial interests of Prime Minister Benito Mussolini with the political and financial interests of the bourgeoisie, the Catholic social circles who constituted the
ruling class In sociology, the ruling class of a society is the social class A social class is a set of concepts in the social sciences and political theory Political philosophy is the philosophical study of government A government is the ...
of Italy. Philosophically, as a
materialist Materialism is a form of philosophical monism which holds matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All everyday objects that can be touched are ultimatel ...
creature, the bourgeois man was stereotyped as irreligious; thus, to establish an
existential Existentialism ( or ) is a form of philosophical inquiry that explores the problem of human existence and centers on the lived experience of the thinking, feeling, acting individual. In the view of the existentialist, the individual's starting ...
distinction between the supernatural faith of the
Roman Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Baptism (from the Greek language, Greek noun βάπτισμα ''báptisma'') is a Christians, Christian ...

Roman Catholic Church
and the materialist faith of temporal religion; in ''The Autarchy of Culture: Intellectuals and Fascism in the 1930s'', the priest Giuseppe Marino said that: Culturally, the bourgeois man may be considered effeminate, infantile, or acting in a pretentious manner; describing his
philistinism Image:Matthew Arnold - Project Gutenberg eText 16745.jpg, 200px, The British poet and cultural critic Matthew Arnold adapted the German word ''Philister'' to English as the word ''philistine'' to denote anti-intellectualism. In the fields of philo ...
in ''Bonifica antiborghese'' (1939), Roberto Paravese comments on the: The economic security, financial freedom, and social mobility of the bourgeoisie threatened the philosophic integrity of
Italian fascism Italian Fascism ( it, fascismo italiano), also known as Classical Fascism or simply Fascism, is the original fascist Fascism () is a form of far-right Far-right politics, also referred to as the extreme right or right-wing extremism ...
, the ideological monolith that was the
régime In politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between individuals, such as the dist ...
of Prime Minister Benito Mussolini. Any assumption of legitimate political power (government and rule) by the bourgeoisie represented a fascist loss of
totalitarian 259x259px, Democracy Index by the Economist Intelligence Unit (2020): perceived authoritarian regimes in red, democracies in green, and color intensity ≈ regime intensity Totalitarianism is a form of government and a political system that prohi ...

totalitarian
state power for social control through political unity—one people, one nation, and one leader. Sociologically, to the fascist man, to become a bourgeois was a character flaw inherent to the masculine mystique; therefore, the ideology of Italian fascism scornfully defined the bourgeois man as "spiritually castrated".


Bourgeois culture


Cultural hegemony

Karl Marx said that the culture of a society is dominated by the mores of the ruling-class, wherein their superimposed
value system In ethics Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that "involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong action (philosophy), behavior".''Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy'"Ethics"/ref> The field o ...
is abided by each social class (the upper, the middle, the lower) regardless of the socio-economic results it yields to them. In that sense, contemporary societies are bourgeois to the degree that they practice the
mores 300px, A 19th-century children's book informs its readers that the Dutch were a "Protestant work ethic, very industrious race", and that Chinese people, Chinese children were "Filial piety, very obedient to their parents". Mores (, sometimes ; , ...

mores
of the small-business "shop culture" of early modern France; which the writer
Émile Zola Émile Édouard Charles Antoine Zola (, also , ; 2 April 184029 September 1902) was a French novelist, journalist, playwright, the best-known practitioner of the literary school of Naturalism (literature), naturalism, and an important contributo ...

Émile Zola
(1840–1902) naturalistically presented, analysed, and ridiculed in the twenty-two-novel series (1871–1893) about ''
Les Rougon-Macquart ''Les Rougon-Macquart'' is the collective title given to a cycle of twenty novels by French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France France (), officially the French Republic (french ...
'' family; the thematic thrust is the necessity for social progress, by subordinating the economic sphere to the social sphere of life.


Conspicuous consumption

The critical analyses of the bourgeois mentality by the German intellectual
Walter Benjamin Walter Bendix Schönflies Benjamin (; ; 15 July 1892 – 26 September 1940) was a German Jewish philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term ''philosopher'' comes from the grc, φιλόσοφος, , translit=philo ...

Walter Benjamin
(1892–1940) indicated that the shop culture of the
petite bourgeoisie ''Petite bourgeoisie'' (, literally small bourgeoisie), also ''petty bourgeoisie'', is a French term (sometimes derogatory) referring to a social class A social class is a set of concepts in the social sciences and political theory Polit ...
established the sitting room as the centre of personal and family life; as such, the English bourgeois culture is, he alleges, a sitting-room culture of
prestige Prestige refers to a good reputation or high esteem; in earlier usage, ''prestige'' meant "showiness". (19th c.) Prestige may also refer to: Arts, entertainment and media Films *Prestige (film), ''Prestige'' (film), a 1932 American film directed ...
through
conspicuous consumption In sociology and in economics, the term conspicuous consumption describes and explains the consumer A consumer is a person or a group who intends to order, orders, or uses purchased goods, products, or services Service may refer to: Activitie ...
. The
material culture Material culture is the aspect of social reality Social reality is distinct from biological reality Reality is the sum or aggregate of all that is real or existent within a system, as opposed to that which is only Object of the mind, imaginar ...
of the bourgeoisie concentrated on mass-produced
luxury goods In economics Economics () is a social science Social science is the branch A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant ...
of high quality; between generations, the only variance was the materials with which the goods were manufactured. In the early part of the 19th century, the bourgeois house contained a home that first was stocked and decorated with hand-painted
porcelain Porcelain () is a ceramic A ceramic is any of the various hard, brittle, heat-resistant and corrosion-resistant Corrosion is a Erosion, natural process that converts a refined metal into a more chemically stable form such as oxide, ...

porcelain
, machine-printed cotton fabrics, machine-printed
wallpaper Wallpaper is a material used in interior decoration Interior design is the art and science of enhancing the interior of a building to achieve a healthier and more aesthetically pleasing environment for the people using the space. An inter ...

wallpaper
, and Sheffield steel (
crucible A modern crucible used in the production of silicon ingots via the Czochralski process">400x400px A crucible is a ceramic or metal container in which metals or other substances may be melted or subjected to very high temperatures. While crucibl ...
and stainless). The
utility As a topic of economics Economics () is a social science Social science is the Branches of science, branch of science devoted to the study of society, societies and the Social relation, relationships among individuals within thos ...

utility
of these things was inherent in their practical functions. By the latter part of the 19th century, the bourgeois house contained a home that had been remodelled by conspicuous consumption. Here, Benjamin argues, the goods were bought to display wealth (
discretionary income :''country lists in disposable household and per capita income Household income is a measure of the combined incomes of all people sharing a particular household or place of residence. It includes every form of income, e.g., salaries and wages, ...
), rather than for their practical utility. The bourgeoisie had transposed the wares of the shop window to the sitting room, where the clutter of display signalled bourgeois success.
Walter Benjamin Walter Bendix Schönflies Benjamin (; ; 15 July 1892 – 26 September 1940) was a German Jewish philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term ''philosopher'' comes from the grc, φιλόσοφος, , translit=philo ...

Walter Benjamin
, ''The Halles Project''.
(See: ''
Culture and Anarchy ''Culture and Anarchy: An Essay in Political and Social Criticism'' is a series of periodical essays by Matthew Arnold Matthew Arnold (24 December 1822 – 15 April 1888) was an English poet and cultural critic who worked as an inspector of sch ...
'', 1869.) Two spatial constructs manifest the bourgeois mentality: (i) the shop-window display, and (ii) the sitting room. In English, the term "sitting-room culture" is synonymous for "bourgeois mentality", a "
philistine The Philistines were an ancient people who lived on the south coast of Canaan from the 12th century BC until 604 BC, when their polity, after having already been subjugated for centuries by Assyria, was finally destroyed by King Nebuchadnezzar I ...
" cultural perspective from the
Victorian Era In the history of the United Kingdom The history of the United Kingdom began in the early eighteenth century with the Treaty of Union A treaty is a formal, legally binding written agreement between actors in international l ...
(1837–1901), especially characterised by the repression of emotion and of sexual desire; and by the construction of a regulated social-space where " propriety" is the key personality trait desired in men and women. Nonetheless, from such a psychologically constricted
worldview upright=1.8, Religious practices will tie closely to a religion's worldview. A worldview or world-view is the fundamental cognitive Cognition () refers to "the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thoug ...

worldview
, regarding the rearing of children, contemporary sociologists claim to have identified "progressive" middle-class values, such as respect for non-conformity, self-direction,
autonomy In developmental psychology Developmental psychology is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations and predictions ...

autonomy
,
gender equality Gender equality, also known as sexual equality or equality of the sexes, is the state of equal ease of access to resources and opportunities regardless of gender, including economic participation and decision-making; and the state of valuing d ...

gender equality
and the encouragement of innovation; as in the Victorian Era, the transposition to the US of the bourgeois system of social values has been identified as a requisite for employment success in the professions. Bourgeois values are dependent on
rationalism In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, reason, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Philosophy of language, la ...
, which began with the economic sphere and moves into every sphere of life which is formulated by Max Weber. The beginning of rationalism is commonly called the Age of Reason. Much like the Marxist critics of that period, Weber was concerned with the growing ability of large corporations and nations to increase their power and reach throughout the world.


Satire and criticism in art

Beyond the
intellectual An intellectual is a person who engages in critical thinking Critical thinking is the analysis of facts to form a judgment. The subject is complex; several different Critical thinking#Definitions, definitions exist, which generally includ ...
realms of
political economy Political economy is the study of production Production may be: Economics and business * Production (economics) * Production, the act of manufacturing goods * Production, in the outline of industrial organization, the act of making products (g ...
, history, and
political science Political science is the scientific study of politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions In psychology, decision-making (also spelled decision making and decisionmaking) is regarded as ...
that discuss, describe, and analyse the ''bourgeoisie'' as a social class, the colloquial usage of the
sociological Sociology is a social science Social science is the Branches of science, branch of science devoted to the study of society, societies and the Social relation, relationships among individuals within those societies. The term was formerl ...
terms ''bourgeois'' and ''bourgeoise'' describe the social
stereotype Police officers buying doughnuts and coffee, an example of perceived stereotypical behavior in North America. Social psychology Social psychology is the Science, scientific study of how the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of individu ...
s of the
old money Old money (french: vieux riche ) is "the inherited wealth of The Establishment, established upper class, upper-class families (i.e. gentry, patrician (post-Roman Europe), patriciate)" or "a person, family, or lineage possessing inherited wealth ...
and of the ''
nouveau riche Nouveau riche refers to a social class. Nouveau Riche may also refer to: * Nouveau Riche (Philadelphia band) * Nouveau Riche (Swedish band) * Nouveau Riche (college), a defunct, unaccredited real estate investment college {{Disambig ...
'', who is a politically timid conformist satisfied with a wealthy,
consumerist ''Consumerist'' (also known as ''The Consumerist'') was a non-profit A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entity organized and operated for a c ...
style of life characterised by
conspicuous consumption In sociology and in economics, the term conspicuous consumption describes and explains the consumer A consumer is a person or a group who intends to order, orders, or uses purchased goods, products, or services Service may refer to: Activitie ...
and the continual striving for
prestige Prestige refers to a good reputation or high esteem; in earlier usage, ''prestige'' meant "showiness". (19th c.) Prestige may also refer to: Arts, entertainment and media Films *Prestige (film), ''Prestige'' (film), a 1932 American film directed ...
. This being the case, the cultures of the world describe the
philistinism Image:Matthew Arnold - Project Gutenberg eText 16745.jpg, 200px, The British poet and cultural critic Matthew Arnold adapted the German word ''Philister'' to English as the word ''philistine'' to denote anti-intellectualism. In the fields of philo ...
of the middle-class personality, produced by the excessively rich life of the bourgeoisie, is examined and analysed in comedic and dramatic plays, novels, and films. (See:
Authenticity Authenticity or authentic may refer to: * Authentication, the act of confirming the truth of an attribute Arts and entertainment * Authenticity in art, ways in which a work of art or an artistic performance may be considered authentic Music * Au ...
.) The term bourgeoisie has been used as a pejorative and a term of abuse since the 19th century, particularly by intellectuals and artists.


Theatre

''
Le Bourgeois gentilhomme ''Le Bourgeois gentilhomme'' (, ''The Bourgeois Gentleman'' or ''The Middle-Class Aristocrat'' or ''The Would-Be Noble'') is a five-act ''comédie-ballet ''Comédie-ballet'' is a genre of French drama which mixes a spoken play with interludes co ...
'' (The Would-be Gentleman, 1670) by
Molière Jean-Baptiste Poquelin (; 15 January 1622 (baptised) – 17 February 1673), known by his stage name Molière (, , ), was a French playwright, actor, and poet, widely regarded as one of the greatest writers in the French language Fre ...

Molière
(Jean-Baptiste Poquelin), is a comedy-ballet that satirises Monsieur Jourdain, the prototypical
nouveau riche Nouveau riche refers to a social class. Nouveau Riche may also refer to: * Nouveau Riche (Philadelphia band) * Nouveau Riche (Swedish band) * Nouveau Riche (college), a defunct, unaccredited real estate investment college {{Disambig ...
man who buys his way up the social-class scale, to realise his aspirations of becoming a gentleman, to which end he studies dancing, fencing, and philosophy, the trappings and accomplishments of a gentleman, to be able to pose as a man of noble birth, someone who, in 17th-century France, was a man to the manor born; Jourdain's self-transformation also requires managing the private life of his daughter, so that her marriage can also assist his social ascent.


Literature

''
Buddenbrooks ''Buddenbrooks'' () is a 1901 novel by Thomas Mann, chronicling the decline of a wealthy north German merchant family over the course of four generations, incidentally portraying the manner of life and mores of the Hanseaten (class), Hanseatic b ...
'' (1901), by
Thomas Mann Paul Thomas Mann ( , ; ; 6 June 1875 – 12 August 1955) was a German novelist, short story writer, social critic, philanthropist, essayist, and the 1929 Nobel Prize in Literature ) , image = Nobel Prize.png , caption = , awarded_ ...
(1875–1955), chronicles the
moral A moral (from Latin ''morālis'') is a message that is conveyed or a lesson to be learned from a narrative, story or wikt:event, event. The moral may be left to the hearer, reader, or viewer to determine for themselves, or may be explicitly enca ...

moral
, intellectual, and
physical Physical may refer to: *Physical examination, a regular overall check-up with a doctor *Physical (album), ''Physical'' (album), a 1981 album by Olivia Newton-John **Physical (Olivia Newton-John song), "Physical" (Olivia Newton-John song) *Physical ( ...
decay of a rich family through its declines, material and spiritual, in the course of four generations, beginning with the Patriarchy, patriarch Johann Buddenbrook Sr. and his son, Johann Buddenbrook Jr., who are typically successful German businessmen; each is a reasonable man of solid character. Yet, in the children of Buddenbrook Jr., the materially comfortable style of life provided by the dedication to solid, middle-class Value system, values elicits decadence: The fickle daughter, Toni, lacks and does not seek a purpose in life; son Christian is honestly decadent, and lives the life of a ne'er-do-well; and the businessman son, Thomas, who assumes command of the Buddenbrook family fortune, occasionally falters from middle-class solidity by being interested in art and philosophy, the impractical Intellectualism, life of the mind, which, to the bourgeoisie, is the epitome of social, moral, and material decadence.Wolfgang Beutin, ''A history of German Literature: From the Beginnings to the Present Day'' (1993) Routledge, 1993, , p. 433. ''Babbitt (novel), Babbitt'' (1922), by Sinclair Lewis (1885–1951), satirizes the American bourgeois George Follansbee Babbitt, a middle-aged realtor, Boosterism, booster, and joiner in the Midwestern city of Zenith, who – despite being unimaginative, self-important, and hopelessly conformist and middle-class – is aware that there must be more to life than money and the Conspicuous consumption, consumption of the best things that money can buy. Nevertheless, he fears Ostracism, being excluded from the mainstream of society more than he does living for himself, by Authenticity (philosophy), being true to himself – his heart-felt flirtations with independence (dabbling in Liberalism, liberal politics and a love affair with a pretty widow) come to naught because he is existentially afraid. Yet, George F. Babbitt sublimates his desire for self-respect, and encourages his son to rebel against the conformity that results from bourgeois prosperity, by recommending that he be true to himself:


Films

Many of the satirical films by the Spanish film director Luis Buñuel (1900–1983) examine the mental and moral effects of the bourgeois mentality, its culture, and the stylish way of life it provides for its practitioners. * ''L'Âge d'or'' (''The Golden Age'', 1930) illustrates the madness and self-destructive hypocrisy of bourgeois society. * ''Belle de Jour (film), Belle de Jour'' (''Beauty of the day'', 1967) tells the story of a bourgeois wife who is bored with her marriage and decides to prostitute herself. * ''Le charme discret de la bourgeoisie'' (''The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie'', 1972) explores the timidity instilled by middle-class Value system, values. * ''Cet obscur objet du désir'' (''That Obscure Object of Desire'', 1977) illuminates the practical self-deceptions required for buying love as marriage.


See also


References


Works cited

* * * * * *


Further reading

* Bledstein, Burton J. and Johnston, Robert D. (eds.
''The Middling Sorts: Explorations in the History of the American Middle Class''
Routledge. 2001. * David Brooks (journalist), Brooks, David
''Bobos In Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There''
Simon & Schuster. 2001. * Byrne, Frank J
''Becoming Bourgeois: Merchant Culture in the South, 1820–1865''
University Press of Kentucky. 2006. * Hunt, Margaret R
''The Middling Sort: Commerce, Gender, and the Family in England, 1680–1780''
University of California Press. 1996. * Lockwood, David
''Cronies or Capitalists? The Russian Bourgeoisie and the Bourgeois Revolution from 1850 to 1917''
Cambridge Scholars Publishing. 2009. * Siegel, Jerrold
''Bohemian Paris: Culture, Politics, and the Boundaries of Bourgeois Life, 1830–1930''
The Johns Hopkins University Press. 1999. * Stern, Robert W
''Changing India: Bourgeois Revolution on the Subcontinent''
Cambridge University Press. 2nd edition, 2003.


External links



– A Critique of Bourgeois Sovereignty {{Marxist & Communist phraseology French words and phrases Social classes Marxist terminology Sociology of culture Upper class Estates (social groups)