With the ‘cultural turn’, the concept of culture has assumed enormous importance in our understanding of the interrelations between social, political, and economic structures, patterns of everyday interaction, and systems of meaning-making. In The SAGE Handbook of Cultural Analysis, the leading figures in their fields explore the implications of this paradigm shift. Addressed to academics and advanced students in all fields of the social sciences and humanities, this Handbook is at once a synthesis of advances in the field, with a comprehensive coverage of the scholarly literature, and a collection of original and provocative essays by some of the brightest intellectuals of our time.
Chapter 22: Culture, Class and Classification
Culture, Class and Classification
Understanding the intersection between culture and class has preoccupied generations of political activists, social scientists and administrators over the past century and more. Bitter political conflicts, abstract theoretical debates and complex bureaucratic classifications have all been conducted in the name of class. Class identities of one kind or another have been important in giving large numbers of people, in many different parts of the globe, collective and individual attachments which matter to them. And, even though it was fashionable to argue in the 1980s and 1990s that the significance of class was fading, in a globalizing world where multiple social inequalities proliferate, such claims now appear dated. If leading academics think that the cultural importance of class is ...