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The owners of the means of production and distribution in capitalist societies. Marx saw the bourgeoisie as the class in control of capitalist society largely through the oppression of the working-class. For Marx, the bourgeoisie must be overthrown by the working-class if a socialist society is to be established. Marx also distinguished between the bourgeoisie - large scale capitalists (i.e., financiers, large industrialists, large landowners) and the petty bourgeoisie (i.e., small shopkeepers).

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