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Class Counts

Class Counts
Comparative Studies in Class Analysis


Part of Studies in Marxism and Social Theory

  • Date Published: December 1996
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521556460

£ 55.99

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About the Authors
  • Class Counts combines theoretical discussions of the concept of class with a wide range of comparative empirical investigations of class and its ramifications in developed capitalist societies. What unites the topics is not a preoccupation with a common object of explanation, but rather a common explanatory factor: class. Four broad themes are explored: class structure and its transformations; the permeability of class boundaries; class and gender; class consciousness. The specific empirical studies include such diverse topics as the sexual division of labour in housework, gender differences in managerial authority, friendship networks in the class structure, the expansion of self-employment in the United States in the past two decades, and the class consciousness of state and private-sector employees. The results of these studies are then evaluated in terms of how they confirm certain expectations within the Marxist tradition of class analysis and how they pose challenging surprises.

    • A unique book by a leading sociologist, combining theoretical discussion of class with a mass of empirical data and analysis
    • Covers a broad range of subjects, including class structure, mobility, gender, and class consciousness, and across a number of countries
    • Useful for teachers: sophisticated theoretical analysis of class, discussion of Marx and Weber. A mass of detailed empirical research, but accessible, with technical statistics in appendices
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'In this important and innovative study, Erik Olin Wright presents a challenging theoretical and empirical cross-national analysis of class relations and class consciousness … This study will be a key reference point in future discussion of competing approaches to class analysis and the place of class in contemporary societies.' Bob Jessop, Lancaster University

    'This book reports on the single most important sociological research project of the last decade … It offers interesting empirical evidence, analyzed competently and making those data speak to the most abstract theoretical issues. It is a great way to introduce students in sociology and at the same time address vital contemporary issues. Scholars working on social stratification, mobility, inequalities, gender, race will take this work as their point of departure for the next decade.' Ivan Szelenyi, University of California, Los Angeles

    'In recent years it has become fashionable to question the usefulness of class analysis. Class Counts is Erik Wright's clear and convincing answer to the skeptics. Wright shows how class analysis makes sense of the inequalities that divide postindustrial society.' Michael Hout, University of California, Berkeley

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 1996
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521556460
    • length: 616 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 35 mm
    • weight: 0.89kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Class analysis
    Part I. The Class Structure of Capitalism and its Transformations:
    2. Class structure in comparative perspective
    3. The transformation of the American class structure, 1960–90
    4. The fall and rise of the petty bourgeoisie
    Part II. The Permeability of Class Boundaries:
    5. Class-boundaries permeability: conceptual and methodological issues
    6. Permeability of class boundaries to intergenerational mobility
    7. Cross-class friendships
    8. Cross-class families
    Part III. Class and Gender:
    9. Conceptualizing the interaction of class and gender
    10. Individuals, families and class analysis
    11. The non-effects of class on the gendered division of labor in the home
    12. The gender gap in workplace authority
    Part IV. Class Structure and Class Consciousness
    13. A general framework for studying class consciousness and class formation
    14. Class consciousness and class formation in Sweden, the United States and Japan
    15. Class, state employment and consciousness
    16. Temporality, class structure and class consciousness
    Part V. Conclusion
    17. Confirmations, surprises and theoretical reconstructions

  • Author

    Erik Olin Wright, University of Wisconsin, Madison

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