This concise and accessible textbook overviews the place and continuing centrality of the concept of class in cultural studies and sociology. The book reopens the debates over class and culture that were very nearly closed down in postmodernism. Andrew Milner offers readers a critical introduction to the Marxist and Weberian accounts of class and relates the significance of class in the new social movements. He also looks at class politics and trends in the character of class relations.
The Strange Death of Class
The English word ‘class’ derives from the Latin classis. At its most obvious and uncontroversial, the term is used to refer to a particular group or category identifiable within a system of classification. Very commonly, of course, it refers to that special system of classification applied by schools to their students. Such usages have been present in the English language since the seventeenth century (Williams, 1976, p. 51). In a more fully sociological sense, however, the word can also be used to denote a social group, conceived as located within a hierarchical order of unequal such groups, the identity and membership of which is primarily determined by ‘economic’ considerations such as occupation, income and wealth. Class ...