This book studies the composition and political ideology of the middle class. In particular, the strata of workers who produce and use the specialized knowledge that goes into management, administration, education, and technological innovation are the focus of theoretical and political debates regarding the middle class, its potential for class alliances, and its future role in the political economies of advanced capitalist countries. I refer to those workers who use knowledge as a tool of production as "knowledge controllers." My focus is the relationships among working-class people; capitalists; and middle-class managers, knowledge controllers, and semiprofessionals.
This book was written so that it would be useful for scholars of class analysis, stratification, and political sociology as well as for advanced undergraduate and graduate courses in these and related areas. The Class Structure and Class Consciousness Survey, initiated by Erik Olin Wright at the University of Wisconsin, provides the data for this study; its complexity allows us to develop indicators of class that are consistent with a variety of theories of class.
Chapter 1 sets a framework for the rest of the book by situating class analysis within sociological stratification studies. It provides an important introduction to the field for undergraduate students and a useful review for more advanced scholars. In this chapter I