Bourgeoisie

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In sociology and political science, bourgeoisie (adjective: bourgeois) describes a range of groups across history. In the Western world, between the late 18th century and the present day, the bourgeoisie is a social class characterized by their ownership of capital and their related culture. A member of the bourgeoisie is a bourgeois or capitalist (plural: bourgeois; capitalists). Marxism defines the bourgeoisie as the social class that owns the means of production in a capitalist society. Marxists view the bourgeoisie as emerging from the wealthy urban classes in pre- and early capitalist societies.

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Etymology and uses

Bourgeoisie is a French word that was borrowed directly into English in the specific sense described above. In the French feudal order pre-revolution, "bourgeois" was a class of citizens who were wealthier members of the Third Estate. The French word bourgeois evolved from the Old French word burgeis, meaning "an inhabitant of a town" (cf. Middle English burgeis, Middle Dutch burgher and German B├╝rger). The Old French word burgeis is derived from bourg, meaning a market town or medieval village, itself derived from Old Frankish burg, meaning "town".[1]

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