lumpenproletariat

lumpenproletariat

[luhm-puhn-proh-li-tair-ee-uht]
noun (sometimes initial capital letter) (esp. in Marxist theory)
the lowest level of the proletariat comprising unskilled workers, vagrants, and criminals and characterized by a lack of class identification and solidarity.

Origin:
1920–25; < German (Marx, 1850), equivalent to Lumpen rag or Lumpen-, combining form of Lump ragamuffin + Proletariat proletariat

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World English Dictionary
lumpenproletariat (ˌlʌmpənˌprəʊlɪˈtɛərɪət)
 
n
(esp in Marxist theory) the amorphous urban social group below the proletariat, consisting of criminals, tramps, etc
 
[German, literally: ragged proletariat]

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

lumpenproletariat
from Marx, 1850, who used it to mean "rabble, poorest of the working class," from Ger. lump "ragamuffin" + proletariat. Secondary sense of "boorish, stupid people" led to lumpen- being taken as a suffix meaning "unenlightened."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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