Comparative studies in class structure
DOI link for Comparative studies in class structure
Comparative studies in class structure book
As the Fordist world of wages, employment contracts, and social programmes began to unravel in the 1980s, the inability of both class analysis and conventional stratification studies to account for, or even detect, this transition became apparent. This failure of the 'positional approach' (Parkin 1971) common to both traditions indicates that reformulation - both theoretical and methodological - is now in order. Furthermore, this comparative literature has shown that the universalising statements of the early and mid-twentieth century [ ... ] were built on, and limited to, particular trajectories of capitalist development. [ ... ]
[Editorial Note: In the original article on which this chapter is based, the authors begin their discussion with a consideration of comparative research on patterns of capital ownership and development, covering a similar range of material to Scott in the previous chapter and reaching comparable conclusions regarding the ownership and control controversy. The relevant section of Myles and Turegun's article has been omitted for reasons of space.]
The return of the petite bourgeoisie Until recently, the safest ground for universalism has been the fate of the petite bourgeoisie in any such trajectory. For classical sociology, Marxian and Weberian alike, the story of the petite bourgeoisie was a foretold one. Independent producers who own and operate their own means of production would fight a losing battle under the conditions of an industrial economy. The predicted gradual erosion of the petite bourgeoisie's economic bases was attributed to the increasing polarisation of property relations, in Marx's words the concentration and centralisation of capital. The petite bourgeoisie was a phenomenon of the past, not the future. As a sociologist trying to bridge Marx and Weber, Mills (1951:14, 28) aptly summarised classical sociology's stance on the issue when he declared that the centralisation of property, ending the 'union of property and work', sounded the death-knell of the old middle classes which had been 'clogging the wheels of progress'.