Are contemporary societies organized by class? In recent years the apparent fragmentation of established class structures and the emergence of new social movements--in particular the women's movement and environmentalism--have altered the traditional expressions of class in society. At the same time, these changes have posed fundamental questions for the concept of class in sociology and political science. In this major reassessment, Klaus Eder offers a new perspective on the status of class in modernity. Drawing on a critique of Bourdieu, Touraine, and Habermas, he outlines a cultural conception of class as the basis for understanding contemporary societies. His model reevaluates the role of the middle classes, traditionally the crux of class analysis, and links class to social theories of power and cultural capital. The result is a cultural theory of class which incorporates the changing forms of collective action and the new social movements of contemporary societies. An invaluable contribution both to social theory and to the theory of class and stratification, The New Politics of Class will be of interest to a broad readership in sociology and political science. "Given the richness of Klaus Eder's theorizing, there are many ways of reading this volume. . . [His work is] full of provocative conceptual ideas and basically sound insights." --American Journal of Sociology
Bringing Classes Back into the Theory of Society
PART ONE: MODERNIZING THE NOTION OF CLASS
Contradictions and Social Evolution
Beyond Class as a Historical Subject
PART TWO: RECONNECTING CULTURE AND CLASS
Culture and Class
The Cognitive Representations of Social Inequality
PART THREE: THE THEORY OF NEW SOCIAL MOVEMENTS: A CHALLENGE TO CLASS THEORY?
A New Social Movement?
Counterculture Movements against Modernity
PART FOUR: NEW CLASS CONFLICTS? THE THEORY OF MIDDLE CLASS RADICALISM
The 'New Social Movements'
Does Social Class Matter in the Study of Social Movements?
CONCLUSION: BEYOND TRADITIONAL CLASS THEORY
From the Crisis of Class Politics to the Critique of Class Politics