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 (lŭm′pən-prō′lĭ-târ′ē-ət, lo͝om′-)
1. The lowest stratum of the proletariat. Used originally in Marxist theory to describe those members of the proletariat, especially criminals, vagrants, and the unemployed, who lacked awareness of their collective interest as an oppressed class.
2. An underclass.

[German : Lumpen, pl. of Lump, ragamuffin (from Middle High German lumpe, rag) + Proletariat, proletariat (from French prolétariat; see proletariat).]


(Sociology) (esp in Marxist theory) the amorphous urban social group below the proletariat, consisting of criminals, tramps, etc
[German, literally: ragged proletariat]


(ˈlʌm pənˌproʊ lɪˈtɛər i ət, ˈlʊm-)

(esp. in Marxist theory) the lowest level of the proletariat comprising unskilled workers, vagrants, and criminals and characterized by a lack of class consciousness.
[1920–25; < German (Marx, 1850) =Lumpen rag or Lumpen-, comb. form of Lump ragamuffin + Proletariat proletariat]


The lowest level of the proletariat, made up of criminals, vagrants, and the permanently unemployed.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.lumpenproletariat - (Marxism) the unorganized lower levels of the proletariat who are not interested in revolutionary advancement
Marxism - the economic and political theories of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels that hold that human actions and institutions are economically determined and that class struggle is needed to create historical change and that capitalism will ultimately be superseded by communism
labor, labour, proletariat, working class - a social class comprising those who do manual labor or work for wages; "there is a shortage of skilled labor in this field"


A group of persons regarded as the lowest class:
dreg (often used in plural), rabble, ragtag and bobtail, riffraff, trash.
Slang: scum.
Idioms: scum of the earth, tag and rag, the great unwashed.
References in periodicals archive ?
She eventually reunites with Fritz, and they attend the workers' competitions, whose collective militancy acts as an alternative to the previous lumpenproletariat reality of their familial environment.
As early as the 1920s, political philosopher Antonio Gramsci had recognized that the Southern Question laid bare that the exploitation of the sub- or lumpenproletariat (for Gramsci, the southern peasantry) was part-and-parcel of Italy's awkward climb toward modern, democratic nation-statehood.
And since technology will destroy jobs and create a massive new lumpenproletariat sitting at home with nothing to do, they advocate for a slew of redistributionist, rather than growth, solutions, including a negative income tax, an expanded Earned Income Tax Credit, and a national mutual fund that provides dividends for everyone.
Three decades ago, it was already clear that Aboriginal individuals (Indian, Metis, and Inuit) were distributed throughout the occupational and income hierarchy (Gerber 1990)--from lumpenproletariat to bourgeoisie (Satzewich and Wotherspoon 1993).
With organizations like the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense taking up Frantz Fanon's call to organize the lumpenproletariat, it makes sense that Rusche's attention to the punishment of those rendered surplus labor would be an important intellectual touchstone for radical criminologists and activists of the period.
Condemned as a "recruiting ground for thieves and criminals of all kinds," the lumpenproletariat was analyzed by Karl Marx as a "social scum" unable to develop a political struggle on its own, a "passively rotting mass thrown off by the lowest layers of society" that could only become, on occasion, "the bribed tool of reactionary intrigue.
Essentially, Cowen expects members of the lumpenproletariat to peacefully while away their time with bread and circuses cheaply provided by a fabulously productive economy run by an elite class and their smart machines.
In the nineteenth century, the Marxist movement gave currency to the (preexisting) German term Lumpenproletariat, usually translated into English as "sub-proletariat": a correct rendering, but one which loses sight of the graphically effective vision of rags (Lumpen) built into the original idea.
Garry Aplin, Kings Heath with two young women from the lumpenproletariat end of society with the words "the values that make us civilised".
Au niveau national, a-t-il rappele, la situation sociale est marquee par l'existence de plusieurs classes et couches sociales dont le lumpenproletariat (chomeurs surtout), le proletariat (ensemble des travailleurs industriels, miniers, agricoles, ), la petite bourgeoisie, ( artisans-apprentis, travailleurs agricoles, etc.
Back then, Gam Islamiya's popularity as a rebellious movement and the sympathy it enjoyed promoted it as an alternative to the authoritarian state and encouraged many youths from the lumpenproletariat to join it.