This book reinterprets the British class structure and its evolution from the mid-nineteenth century until the 1980s. It provides a detailed empirical study of the growth of trade unions, and development of earnings differentials and patterns of class inter-marriage during this period, and uses this material to reassess theoretical questions of class consciousness, the notion of the 'traditional working class', and the ideas of a 'labour aristocracy'. A particular feature is that this book is part of the development of a mode of sociological analysis intended to be compatible with economic theory. Its primary focus is on the relationship between skilled and non-skilled manual workers. This 1984 suggests that an internal division of the manual working class on the basis of skill has been a persistent feature of economic relations since the late nineteenth century. It goes on to show, however, by the extensive analysis of inter marriage, that this economic division has not been translated into equivalent social boundaries.
List of tables, diagrams and models; Acknowledgements; Part I. Debates and Definitions: 1. Orientations to the analysis of class in Britain; 2. The traditional working class; 3. The labour aristocracy; 4. Theoretical orientations to skill; 5. Aspects of the social structure of Rochdale, 1856–1964; Part II. The Economic Structuration of Class: 6. The trade union structure in the Rochdale cotton and engineering industries; 7. The course of wage differentials in Rochdale during the period 1856–1964; 8. Skilled manual workers in the labour process; Part III. The Social Structuration of Class: 9. Classes, strata and occupations; 10. Class analysis and marital endogamy; 11. Intermarriage in Rochdale: class endogamy of brides and grooms; 12. Intermarriage in Rochdale: class endogamy of fathers of brides and fathers of grooms; 13. Skilled manual workers in the British class structure; Appendices; Notes; Bibliography; Index.