You are here

The New Politics of Class
Share

The New Politics of Class
Social Movements and Cultural Dynamics in Advanced Societies

First Edition
  • Klaus Eder - Humboldt University, Berlin/European University Institute, Florence


June 1993 | 242 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Are contemporary societies organized by class? In recent years the apparent fragmentation of established class structures and the emergence of new social movements - in particular the women's movement and environmentalism - have altered the traditional expressions of class in society. At the same time, these changes have posed fundamental questions for the concept of class in sociology and political science.

In this major reassessment, Klaus Eder offers a new perspective on the status of class in modernity. Drawing on a critique of Bourdieu, Touraine and Habermas, he outlines a cultural conception of class as the basis for understanding contemporary societies. His model reevaluates the role of the middle classes, traditionally the crux of class analysis, and links class to social theories of power and cultural capital. The result is a cultural theory of class which incorporates the changing forms of collective action and the new social movements of contemporary societies.

 
INTRODUCTION
CLASS AND SOCIAL MOVEMENTS

 
 
Bringing Classes Back into the Theory of Society
Culture as the Missing Link Between Class and Collective Action

 
 
PART ONE: MODERNIZING THE NOTION OF CLASS
 
Contradictions and Social Evolution
A Theory of the Role of Class in the Production of Modernity

 
 
Beyond Class as a Historical Subject
Towards a Theoretical Construction of Collective Actors

 
 
PART TWO: RECONNECTING CULTURE AND CLASS
 
Culture and Class
Bourdieu's Culturalist Refraction of the Traditional Theory of Class

 
 
The Cognitive Representations of Social Inequality
A Sociological Account of the Cultural Basis of Modern Class Society

 
 
PART THREE: THE THEORY OF NEW SOCIAL MOVEMENTS: A CHALLENGE TO CLASS THEORY?
 
A New Social Movement?
The Continuing Vitality of the Theory of the 'New Social Movements'

 
 
Counterculture Movements against Modernity
Nature as a New Field of Class Struggle?

 
 
PART FOUR: NEW CLASS CONFLICTS? THE THEORY OF MIDDLE CLASS RADICALISM
 
The 'New Social Movements'
Moral Crusades, Political Pressure Groups, or a Social Movement?

 
 
Does Social Class Matter in the Study of Social Movements?
A New Theory of Middle Class Radicalism

 
 
CONCLUSION: BEYOND TRADITIONAL CLASS THEORY
 
From the Crisis of Class Politics to the Critique of Class Politics
Reflecting the Role of 'Crisis Discourses' in Modern Society

 

`Addresses important questions and has some interesting things to say about them... [the book] is a `sampler' of the work of a social theorist who is already influential in Germany.... Eder is clearly an astute and well-informed analyst' - Theory, Culture & Society

`Eder makes a significant contribution to the development of a theory of social movements which avoids the reductive tendencies of Marxism while at the same time allowing us to perceive the new social movements as more than free floating interest groups... Eder's essays are theoretically rigorous and innovative' - Political Studies

`Provides a good occasion to get to know this important German sociologist.... Eder's theorizing is very rich, full of provocative conceptual ideas and sound insights' - American Journal of Sociology

`Eder's work is systematic, rigorous and an important statement of the NSM (New Social Movements) approach' - Choice

Preview this book

For instructors

This book is not available as an inspection copy. For more information contact your local sales representative.

Select a Purchasing Option

ISBN: 9780803988682
£44.99