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Approaches to Class Analysis
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 (ISBN-13: 9780511113987 | ISBN-10: 0511113986)




Approaches to Class Analysis




Few themes have been as central to sociology as ``class" and yet class remains a perpetually contested idea. Sociologists disagree not only on how best to define the concept of class but on its general role in social theory and indeed on its continued relevance to the sociological analysis of contemporary society. Some people believe that classes have largely dissolved in contemporary societies; others believe class remains one of the fundamental forms of social inequality and social power. Some see class as a narrow economic phenomenon whilst others adopt an expansive conception that includes cultural dimensions as well as economic conditions. This book explores the theoretical foundations of six major perspectives of class with each chapter written by an expert in the field. It concludes with a conceptual map of these alternative approaches by posing the question ``If `class' is the answer, what is the question?"

ERIK OLIN WRIGHT is Vilas Distinguished Professor at the Department of Sociology, University of Wisconsin. His recent books include Deepening Democracy: Institutional Innovations in Empowered Participatory Governance (2003), Class Counts: Comparative Studies in Class Analysis (Cambridge, 1997).







Approaches to Class Analysis




Edited by

Erik Olin Wright







CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
Cambridge, New York, Melbourne, Madrid, Cape Town, Singapore, São Paulo

Cambridge University Press
The Edinburgh Building, Cambridge CB2 2RU, UK

www.cambridge.org
Information on this title: www.cambridge.org/9780521603812

© Cambridge University Press 2005

This book is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception and to the provisions
of relevant collective licensing agreements, no reproduction of any part may
take place without the written permission of Cambridge University Press.

First published 2005

Printed in the United Kingdom at the University Press, Cambridge

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

Library of Congress Cataloguing in Publication data

Approaches to class analysis / edited by Erik Olin Wright
   p. cm.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 0-521-84304-9 – ISBN 0-521-60381-1 (pb.)
1. Social classes. 2. Sociology. I. Wright, Erik Olin.
HT 609.A65 2005
305.5–dc22        2004065036

ISBN-13 978-0-521-84304-1 hardback
ISBN-10 0-521-84304-9 hardback

ISBN-13 978-0-521-60381-2 paperback
ISBN-10 0-521-60381-1 paperback

Cambridge University Press has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or third-party internet websites referred to in this book, and does not guarantee that any content on such websites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.







To the Memory of
Aage B. Sørensen
1941–2001







Contents




  List of figures page viii
  List of tables ix
  List of contributors x
 
  Introduction 1
  ERIK OLIN WRIGHT
1   Foundations of a neo-Marxist class analysis 4
  ERIK OLIN WRIGHT
2   Foundations of a neo-Weberian class analysis 31
  RICHARD BREEN
3   Foundations of a neo-Durkheimian class analysis 51
  DAVID GRUSKY IN COLLABORATION WITH GABRIELA GALESCU
4   Foundations of Pierre Bourdieu’s class analysis 82
  ELLIOT B. WEININGER
5   Foundations of a rent-based class analysis 119
  AAGE B. SØRENSEN
6   Foundations of a post-class analysis 152
  JAN PAKULSKI
  Conclusion: If ``class" is the answer, what is the question? 180
  ERIK OLIN WRIGHT
 
  References 193
  Index 207






Figures




1.1   Three models of class analysis page 26
2.1   Dimensions of work as sources of contractual hazard, forms of employment contract, and location of employee classes of the schema (from Goldthorpe 2000: 223, figure 10.2) 40
6.1   Configurations of inequality – a typology 172






Tables




2.1   Possible aggregations of the Goldthorpe class schema page 41
3.1   Countries classified by type and amount of class structuration 64
3.2   Models of social organization at the site of production 77
7.1   Six primary questions of class analysis 182
7.2   The life chances question in Marx, Weber, and Bourdieu 186






Contributors




RICHARD BREEN is Official Fellow in Sociology at Nuffield College, Oxford University

DAVID GRUSKY is Professor of Sociology at Stanford University

JAN PAKULSKI is Professor of Sociology and Dean of Arts at the University of Tasmania

AAGE B. SøRENSEN, formerly Professor of Sociology at Harvard University

ELLIOT B. WEININGER is Assistant Professor of Sociology, State University of New York-Brockport

ERIK OLIN WRIGHT is Vilas Distinguished Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison


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