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Class and Stratification. Edition No. 3

  • ID: 2383080
  • Book
  • April 2008
  • 304 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
Inequality in its many forms is becoming an ever greater problem in modern society. The revised edition of this popular book explains why it is so important to understand class and stratification, and how the tools used to analyse these divisions can help us to understand and confront problems of inequality.

This third edition of Class and Stratification has been extensively revised, expanded and updated, incorporating discussions of contemporary economic and social change. It includes discussions of political and economic neoliberalism and its impacts as well as developments in social theory, such as the emphasis on 'individualization' and the 'cultural turn'. New to this edition is a chapter focusing on 'cultural' approaches to class analysis, which together with established approaches are used to explore new developments in social mobility, educational opportunity, and social polarization.

The book will be essential reading for upper-level undergraduate and postgraduate students in the social sciences seeking to understand the changing face of social inequality. By highlighting the damage increasing inequality is causing to the social fabric, the book reveals the important part class continues to play in our lives today.

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Introduction to the First Edition.

Introduction to the Second Edition.

Introduction to the Third Edition, and Acknowledgements.

Chapter 1: Setting the Scene.

Individualisation, neoliberalism, and 'extreme capitalism'.

Summary of chapters.

Chapter 2: Approaches to Class and Stratification Analysis.


Debating inequality.

Theories of social differentiation.

'Class', a multi-faceted concept.

Social theory and social change.

The wider critique of 'class analysis'.

Action and structure, economy and culture.

Chapter 3: Class Analysis: The Classic Inheritance and its Development in the 20th Century.




Class and sociology after the Second World War.

The development of theoretically informed accounts of the 'class structure'.

Class and history.

The intertwining of structure and action, economy and culture.

Class inequality and the 'cultural turn'.

Social class, social geography and the turn to 'realism'.


Chapter 4: Measuring the 'Class Structure'.



Descriptive occupational and status hierarchies and the analysis of 'social classes'.

Theoretical ('relational') class schemes: Wright.

Theoretical ('relational') class schemes: Goldthorpe.


Conceptual basis of the ONS-SEC.


Chapter 5: An untimely prediction of death and a timely renewal.


Changes in the structure of work and employment.

The expansion of women’s employment.

Class, politics and action.

Farewell to class societies?.

Where do we go from here?.

'New and revised' approaches.


Chapter 6: Class and culture: the ethnography of class.


Social status, social hierarchies, and social citizenship.


The 'new middle classes'.

The contemporary ethnography of the working class.

Discussion and conclusions: a new synthesis?.

Chapter 7: Families, Social Mobility and Educational Achievement.

Introduction: Class and the family.

Social mobility.

Declining social mobility.

Secondary and higher education in Britain.

Explaining class differences in educational achievement.

What is to be done?.


Chapter 8: Widening inequalities and debates on 'class': discussion and conclusions.


From the 'underclass' debate to social exclusion.

Widening inequality.

Back to definitions: the approach developed in this book.

The possibility of countervailing processes.


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Rosemary Crompton City University.
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