Class and Stratification: An Introduction to Current Debates

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Wiley, Oct 22, 1998 - Social Science - 272 pages
The second edition of this successful book has been extensively revised and updated. It now incorporates the considerable range of further contributions to debates in class and stratification which have emerged since the first edition of this book was published in 1993. While many of these have asserted that 'class is dead', Crompton argues that class is very much alive. Thus 'postmodern' theories of 'post-class' societies are critically examined, as are the most recent contributions of quantitative sociological approaches such as those of Goldthorpe and Wright. It is argued that despite their theoretical differences, the work of these two authors has been undergoing a process of convergence in recent years.

One feature which belies the 'death' of class is the contemporary increase in the extent of social and material inequality. This topic, therefore, is explored at some length, as are other areas including gender and the feminization of the middle classes, the significance of recent changes in work and employment, consumption and citizenship.

The author's major aim remains that of the first edition - to provide an accessible introduction to this complex topic for undergraduate students. Despite the recent volume of apparently conflicting theoretical and methodological statements on the subject by different authors, Crompton nevertheless concludes that the way ahead lies in a better understanding and use of the range of both concepts and methods within the field, rather than the creation of 'new' theories, or the adoption of a single view of 'class' and 'class analysis' .

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About the author (1998)

Rosemary Crompton is Professor of Sociology, at the University of Leicester.

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