Are social classes dying?
DOI link for Are social classes dying?
Are social classes dying? book
Many writers have, like Dahrendorf, retained terms from Marx, while substantially changing their meaning. Erik Wright (1985:64-104) has sought to capture some of the same changes as Dahrendorf. He does so by developing a 12 category 'typology of class location in capitalist society' that includes: 1. bourgeoisie, 2. small employers, 4. expert managers, 5. expert supervisors, 8. semi-credentialled supervisors, and continues up to 12. proletarians. It explicitly incorporates not just ownership, but skill level, and managerial responsibility. It is striking that Wright, a self-defined Marxist, incorporates so much post-Weberian multi-dimensionality. [ ... ]
These analyses stress changes in work-place relations. Yet social relations outside the work-place are increasingly important for social stratification. If proletarians are visibly distinct in dress, food and life style, they are more likely to think of themselves, and act as a politically distinct class. In the nineteenth and early twentieth century, this was often the case, as novels and sociologists report. The decreasing distinctiveness of social classes is stressed by Parkin (1979:69), who holds that this brings the 'progressive erosion of the communal components of proletarian status'. Specifically, 'the absence of clearly visible and unambiguous marks of inferior status has made the enforcement of an all-pervasive deference system almost impossible to sustain outside the immediate work situation. It would take an unusually sharp eye to detect the social class of Saturday morning shoppers in the High Street, whereas to any earlier generation it would have been the most elementary task.'