There is hardly any discussion of class that does not in some way relate to the theories of Marx and Weber. So profound was the impact of their ideas, that their writings are often perceived as the only original and most reliable interpretations of class society. But Marx and Weber were neither the first, nor last, to talk about class and they did so based on the specific conditions prevalent in their own communities. `Class' explains this complex field using cultural, sociological and feminist perspectives. It deepens our understanding of the problems of class and uses illuminating examples from media, popular culture and literature that explain current class analysis. `Class' is an `elegant, lucid comprehensive introduction' that broadens our understanding of the concept and the immense power that it exerts by way of in- and exclusions.
Ulrika Holgersson is an associate professor of history at the Department of History, Lund University, Sweden. She is a cultural and gender historian, with media and popular culture as specific areas of expertise. Her publications include Popular Culture and Classification. The Discourses of Work, Class, and Gender in Swedish Women's Magazines at the Beginning of the Twentieth Century (2005) and The Servant Maid and the Feature Film. Stars of the Swedish 'Folkhem' of the 1930s and 40s (2016).
1. Introduction: Class-Why and How? 1.1. From Singapore to Sweden 1.2. The world after die Wende 1.3. Class-some fundamental distinctions 1.4. Class is dead, long live class 1.5. Feminist critiques 1.6. The cultural turn 1.7. The purpose of this books References 2. Construction: The Grand Narrative of Class 2.1. The etymology of class 2.2. Class as conflict 2.3. Who were Marx and Engels? 2.4. The development of capitalist society 2.5. Historical materialism 2.6. Marxism after Marx 2.7. Class as situation 2.8. Who was Weber? 2.9. Class types 2.10. Class rather than status 2.11. Weberianism after Weber 2.12. Class and hegemony 2.13. Class and structuralism 2.14. Class just happens 2.15. Quantifying class 2.16. Feminist critiques of Marxism 2.17. Engels and Marxist feminism 2.18. Socialist radical feminism 2.19. Anti-racist class analysis and class critiques 2.20. The Birmingham School 2.21. The whiteness of the working class Summary References 3. Deconstruction: The Class Narrative Dismantled 3.1. Postmodern life 3.2. A postmodern working class 3.3. Postmodern critiques from the left or the right? 3.4. Jean-Francois Lyotard and postmodernism as narrative critique 3.5. Jean Baudrillard and the end of society and politics 3.6. Zygmunt Bauman and postmodernism as a state of mind 3.7. Once upon a time classes existed, and they mattered ... 3.8. Beyond left and right? Summary References 4. Reconstruction: New Narratives About Class 4.1. Who were the workers? 4.2. The languages of class 4.3. Gareth Stedman Jones and the challenges of working-class history 4.4. Joan W. Scott and post-structuralist feminism 4.5. Patrick Joyce, postmodernism, and the crisis of social history 4.6. Post-Marxism 4.7. Class positions and forms of capital 4.8. Pierre Bourdieu's theory of class 4.9. Beverley Skeggs's feminist analysis of Bourdieu Summary References 5 Conclusions: Class Analysis, Past and Future 5.1. Class as classification, or, where to start 5.2. Class, a question of recognition and redistribution References Appendix: Dictionary definitions of class Index