In recent years, the death of social class has regularly been reportedùin popular and scholarly publications alike. However, class analysis is probably now in a healthier state than at any time in its long sociological history, with social class as important to the understanding of late-twentieth century industrial societies as it was to their early-twentieth century counterparts. This book, a major contribution to our understanding of contemporary industrial societies, explains why. Gordon Marshall informs his argument with a number of common substantive themes, broadly pertaining to the relationship between social stratification and social order. Specific issues discussed include the debate about the unit of class composition; the question of meritocracy; the relationship between class and gender; crossnational similarities and differences in mobility regimes; and arguments about proletarianization, distributional struggles, collective identities, and the nature of the so-called underclass in advanced societies.
PART ONE: SOCIAL THEORY
Distributional Struggle and Moral Order in a Market Society
The Promising Future of Class Analysis
PART TWO: METHOD AND MEASUREMENT
Classes in Britain
Social Class and Underclass in Britain and the USA
Class, Gender and the Asymmetry Hypothesis
PART THREE: SOCIAL MOBILITY
Proletarianization in the British Class Structure?
Intergenerational Social Mobility in Communist Russia
Intergenerational Class Processes and the Asymmetry Hypothesis
PART FOUR: SOCIAL JUSTICE
Social Class and Social Justice
Was Communism Good for Social Justice? A Comparative Analysis of the Two Germanies