Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Petit-bourgeois or Anglicised petty bourgeois is a French term that referred to the members of the lower middle social-classes. They were seen as servants of the bourgeois class who in turn were seen as servants of the aristocracy. In the context of a perceived oppressive system, the bourgeoisie denoted a label of someone in collaboration with the ruling aristocracy's lieutenants.
The term was used by Karl Marx and Marxist theorists to refer to a class of people that would include shop-keepers and professionals. Though distinct from the ordinary working class and the lumpenproletariat, who rely entirely on the sale of their labor-power for survival, they remain members of the proletariat rather than the haute bourgeoisie, or capitalist class, who own the means of production and buy the labor-power of others to work it. Though the petty bourgeois do buy the labor power of others, in contrast to the bourgeoisie they typically work alongside their own employees; although they generally own their own businesses, they do not own a controlling share of the means of production.
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