Learn more about Petite bourgeoisie
Petit-bourgeois or petty bourgeois is a French term that originally referred to the members of the upper middle social-classes in the 18th and early 19th centuries. They were seen as servants of the ruling 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.
Starting from the mid-19th century, the term was used by Karl Marx and Marxist theorists to refer to a social class that included 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, the petty bourgeois 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; and although they generally own their own businesses, they do not own a controlling share of the means of production.