The working class is the group of working individuals belonging to the industrial sector, who receive an economic consideration in exchange for their work. It was the object of study and basic pillar in the development of socialism or communism.
After the arrival of the technological advance caused by the Industrial Revolution , mainly, the working class was erected as a portion of society dedicated to industrial, chemical and technological production.
The members of this social class were especially characterized by their low income levels and therefore purchasing power . For this reason, the term worker is often used to refer to the lower class, although over the years and the development of socialist or capitalist theories this has been changing.
The member of the working class therefore offers his work in the industrial sector in exchange for a salary that is usually not of a high level. Alternatively, this individual is not the owner of the means of production in which he develops his work. In that sense and following the above, its opposite figure would be the industrial capitalist individual.
It was precisely Marxist theory that used this concept as a fundamental pillar in the development of its ideological postulates, placing the proletarian worker worker as the subject of main study and representation of the average individual.
Difference between working class and working class
Although this term is often identified with that of the working class, it is necessary to point out that the working class refers more exclusively to individuals working in factories and other industrialized means such as the collection of raw materials, extraction of natural resources or assembly of products.
That is, the appearance of the Industrial Revolution coincided in time with the birth of the new postulates of socialism or communism. Therefore, the new jobs created by the hand of industrialization largely occupied the object of study of these socio-political theories.
In other words, we refer to the working class in a strict sense to the part of the working class and the proletariat oriented directly to work in the industry. This excludes other worker profiles such as the peasant, the artisan or service professionals.
The term working class is a term often used as a synonym for proletariat. While it is true that the concepts are similar, historically it is better to use the word proletariat to refer to Marx’s theory, while the working class is a more neutral and generic term of the term.