Class

Class

Class

Class

Synopsis

Of all the concepts used by sociologists for describing and explaining social relationships, social class is probably the most ambiguous, confusing and ill-defined. This is despite the fact that the development of sociology as an academic discipline has been intimately connected with class related issues. In this book, Richard Scase offers an introduction to the analysis of social class. Against a background of the failure of Soviet and East European state socialism he highlights the enduring importance of social class in Western capitalist society, which is characterized by relations of exploitation. He concludes that whilst Marxist categories continue to be invaluable, Marx's ideas for abolishing class must, towards the end of the 20th century, be seen to be utopian.

Excerpt

The invitation to contribute to a series such as this compels any author to choose between a number of possible approaches. One is to offer the reader a comprehensive review of the relevant literature. Another is to use the opportunity to make a fundamental statement, offering an innovative approach towards a key issue. I have chosen neither of these. Instead, I have accepted the Editor's invitation to offer an introduction, albeit brief, to the analysis of social class. Essentially, I aim to demonstrate the continuing importance of class analysis in sociological discussion, despite popular assumptions that it is of declining relevance and irrespective of recent developments in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. This book, then, tries to restate the continuing importance of class for those students who have only recently discovered the intellectual challenges and excitement of sociological analysis.

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