Class and Political Partisanship
DOI link for Class and Political Partisanship
Class and Political Partisanship book
Labour Lose? saw economic prosperity as a major source of change in working-class values: 'The old working-class ethos is being eroded by prosperity and the increasing fluidity of our society. People now know that they can improve their lot by their own efforts. And as they succeed, they change their values and cease to identify themselves with the class from which they sprang' (Abrams, Rose and Hinden, 1960: 106). These changes in working-class values, Abrams and his colleagues believed, meant that Labour's class appeal had become outmoded and that Labour had to change if it were to survive electorally. Arguments like those of Abrams and his colleagues postulate a process of embourgeoisement; that is, prosperity is held to detach workers from working-class identification and move them not only towards middle-class standards of living but also towards middle-class values and identities. It is this argument about the social and political consequences of affluence that became the main target for the Cambridge team.