Corporate Business and Capitalist Classes

Corporate Business and Capitalist Classes

Corporate Business and Capitalist Classes

Corporate Business and Capitalist Classes

Synopsis

Large multinational corporations shape our lives to an enormous extent. How is the growth, power, and significance of big business to be explained and understood? Focusing on the issues of ownership, control, and class formation, Corporate Business and Capitalist Classes explores the implications of changes in the nature of big business, which affect both the businesses themselves, and the economic and political milieu in which these multinationals operate. Up-to-date empirical evidence is reviewed in a wide-ranging comparative framework that covers Britain and the United States, Germany, France, Japan, and many other societies, including emerging forms of capitalism in China and Russia. Unlike other specialist texts in the area, Corporate Business and Capitalist Classes relates its concerns to issues of social stratification and class structure. The first and second editions of the book (under the title Corportations, Classes and Capitalism) were enthusiastically received, and the present edition reviews new theoretical ideas and empirical evidence that has emerged in the ten years since the second edition appeared. The text has been completely re-written and re-structured, and it relates its concerns to contemporary debates over `disorganized capitalism' and post-industrialism.

Excerpt

Few people appreciate the extent to which large multinational business enterprises are able to shape our lives. the products and services that we use in the course of our routine daily activities--the food that we eat, the newspapers that we read, the cars that we drive, the houses that live in, and so on--are all today the products of mass-market business enterprises. These commodities can be produced for us only if other enterprises produce the boilers, printing presses, machine tools, and bricks that are required in their production. the majority of people in paid employment are paid by these same businesses to work in the factories, shops, and offices that produce these goods, and the production and consumption of goods requires the use of cash, credit cards, and banks accounts that are operated by large banking enterprises. News reports on the movement of the Financial Times share index, the exchange rates, and the international currency markets in which these enterprises are involved do not refer to matters that are peripheral to 'real' events, but to processes that help to ensure or prevent the availability of goods, services, and jobs. All of us, whether as 'consumers' or 'workers', are inextricably tied into a global web of financial connections that stretch from our corner shop to the Tokyo money market.

How is the power and significance of big business to be understood and explained? the brand names and products that lie that behind anonymous corporate identities can be discovered fairly easily from the numerous reference books that are available in most libraries, but the identities of the people that actually run their affairs and determine their policies are rather more difficult to discover. the entrepreneur of the nineteenth century, as both the owner and the . . .

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