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.

Marxist Theories of Class
Marxist theories of class

For obvious politico-historical reasons, associated above all with the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe, Marx has become a distinctly unfashionable thinker of late. Even Derrida's mournings (Derrida, 1994) have failed to prevent the progressive elimination of Marx's legacy from much of the academic curriculum, not least from the once staunchly ‘Marxist’ area of Cultural Studies. Giddens now regards this legacy as close to definitively superseded: Marxism has been pronounced dead before, only to rise phoenix-like from its ashes, he concedes, but ‘the position … today quite plainly is different … The difference is the failure of socialism’ (Giddens, 1995, p. xiii). This failure extends beyond Soviet Communism, he argues, to embrace Western welfare socialism and much else ...

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