In Marxism, the petit bourgeoisie is the term used for the section of society otherwise better known as the middle class. Members of the petit bourgeoisie differ from the rest of the proletariat in that they aren't necessarilly co-erced into wage slavery, either because they have a greater margin of purchasing power or because they have a technical skill which they can sell. They may for example, own a small business and employ a small workforce but do not own or control a large scale means of production capable of manufacturing or providing a widespread service that would be synomonous with a bourgeoisie owned means of production.

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