Marking the Moral Boundaries of Class
AbstractThis article welcomes the recent renewed interest in the topic of class within sociology and cultural studies. This comes after a long period â€“ from around the middle part of the 1980s and into the 1990s â€“ during which social class was dismissed as a mode of understanding socio-economic and cultural conditions on the part of both academics and mainstream political organisations alike. Working-class formations in particular came under scrutiny, increasingly seen to be in terminal decline and fragmentation through the impact of post-industrialisation processes set in train in western economies from the turn of the 1980s onwards. The demise of heavy industry â€“ steel, coal, textiles, for instance â€“ profoundly altered working-class communities, transforming the material world and cultural life of the British working class, powerful developments reinforcing the \'end of class\' debate. Allied to this, the emergence within the academy of new theoretical frameworks associated with postmodern thought claimed to undermine traditional understandings around class. This article insists on the continuing significance of class and does so by focussing on an important recent response to the class debate, Andrew Sayer\'s The Moral Significance of Class (2005). This book stakes a lucid claim for the importance of recognising class as a powerful determining factor of subjectivity. While drawing upon aspects of Sayer\'s theoretical framework and argument to examine class experience, it is also the intention of the article to supplement Sayer\'s work by developing related theoretical propositions derived from the writing of Raymond Williams and the Russian linguist and cultural critic Volosinov/Bakhtin.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Sociological Research Online in its journal Sociological Research Online.
Volume (Year): 11 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
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Working Class; Experience; Structure of Feeling; Recognition; Language; Identity;
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