"Class Consciousness": awareness of one's self as belong to a class that is, itself, a part of a class system which privileges members of upper classes and imposes burdens upon members of lower classes.  In Marxist ideology, until class consciousness has been achieved, individuals are doomed to wander in the "false consciousness" induced by various ideological processes which keep them unaware of their true condition.  Non-Marxist historians often use the emergence of "class consciousness" as a pre-condition for the emergence of capitalist market-driven culture, as opposed to Anglo-European feudal culture, in which identity oriented to one's "estate" (nobles, clergy, freemen) kept members of classes from recognizing and acting upon their common values.  Instead, freemen and peasants, the vast majority of the population, competed against one another in order to serve the nobles and clergy.