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Class identities and the identity of class

Class identities and the identity of class
Class identities and the identity of class
In rejecting both arguments of the ‘death of class’, and the increasingly minimalist positions of class traditionalists, a newer generation of class theorists have transformed the scope and analytical framework of class analysis: inflating ‘class’ to include social and cultural formations, reconfiguring the causal model that has underpinned class analysis, and abandoning the notion of distinct class identities or groups, focusing instead on individualized hierarchical differentiation. There are problems with transforming ‘class’ in this fashion, although the difficulty lies not in the departures from traditional class theory, but rather in what is retained. The uneasy relationship between older and newer aspects of ‘class’ within renewed class theory means the wider implications of inequality considered as individualized hierarchy (rather than as ‘class’) have not been fully explored.The debate on class identities (an important example of this new form of class analysis) illustrates these difficulties, and shows that issues of hierarchy extend well beyond issues of ‘class’.
class identities, hierarchy, social distance
0038-0385
985-1003
Bottero, Wendy
2da4e792-ecef-4406-bba1-913f03dedecd
Bottero, Wendy
2da4e792-ecef-4406-bba1-913f03dedecd

Bottero, Wendy (2004) Class identities and the identity of class. Sociology, 38 (5), 985-1003. (doi:10.1177/0038038504047182).

Record type: Article

Abstract

In rejecting both arguments of the ‘death of class’, and the increasingly minimalist positions of class traditionalists, a newer generation of class theorists have transformed the scope and analytical framework of class analysis: inflating ‘class’ to include social and cultural formations, reconfiguring the causal model that has underpinned class analysis, and abandoning the notion of distinct class identities or groups, focusing instead on individualized hierarchical differentiation. There are problems with transforming ‘class’ in this fashion, although the difficulty lies not in the departures from traditional class theory, but rather in what is retained. The uneasy relationship between older and newer aspects of ‘class’ within renewed class theory means the wider implications of inequality considered as individualized hierarchy (rather than as ‘class’) have not been fully explored.The debate on class identities (an important example of this new form of class analysis) illustrates these difficulties, and shows that issues of hierarchy extend well beyond issues of ‘class’.

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More information

Published date: 2004
Keywords: class identities, hierarchy, social distance

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 35037
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/35037
ISSN: 0038-0385
PURE UUID: 51988287-87ae-4894-95cd-9f1e26aff647

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Date deposited: 15 May 2006
Last modified: 15 Jul 2019 19:06

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Author: Wendy Bottero

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