Conclusion: Class Analysis and Historical Specificity
In this study I set out to examine five theories that address the class location and the political ideology of knowledge controllers and other "middle-class" strata. I began this study with an examination of sociological treatments of the middle class. I noted that studies of the class structure were developed to understand the social transformations taking place in contemporary society. The middle class came into focus as an analytical unit with the emergence of twentieth-century managerial and technological developments. Marxist class analysis came under attack as scholars began to observe new forms of social relations that seemed to be based more on status than on class. I showed in chapter I that gradational and categorical forms of class analysis are less potent than relational forms of analysis.
Four empirical findings from this study are of particular theoretical significance. First, from the analysis in chapters 2 through 5, which analyzed the five theories of class, eleven class categories were identified that represent the basic structural building blocks of class structure. These class categories include capitalists, traditional petit bourgeois, knowledge-controlling petit bourgeois, knowledge-controlling managers, other managers, supervisors, nonmanagerial knowledge controllers, semiprofessionals, clerical workers, skilled blue-collar workers, and unskilled manual workers.