I like Eric Olin Wright's definitions and writing style, thank you
for these links, Mike. In the encyclopedia link, Wright offers a
materialist description of social class and related terms (class
interests, class consciousness, class formations, class struggle,
etc.), and compares Weber and Marx in a useful and accessible way.
Clearly, the multitude of sociological and political questions around
class need to be debated in their own domains and terms. For many of
us, "class" is a central issue of our time, and there are many kinds
of approaches to try to comprehend. In this and many other core
questions, "analytical Marxism" which Eric Olin Wright identifies
with, versus, say, to give a name to the kind of Marxism I tend
toward, "proletarian Marxism," certainly have many points in common,
and many sharp differences, as do all variants of Marxism and
materialist thinking. These similarities and differences become most
pronounced in the political application of class theories, and in the
theoretical justifications of actual political practices. Nothing
new here, of course. A quick look at the last section of the
Communist Manifesto, for example, shows that these debates have been
going on for centuries.
What IS new, from an xmca point of view, so to speak, is that
something we call CHAT has developed into an international scientific
trend - perhaps group of trends - in recent decades. This leads me
to a ton of questions I have. Where does CHAT figure in to this
discussion of class and political theory? If a theory of class is
needed for CHAT, how does it go about selecting one? What
contributions should CHAT try to make to theorizing about class? How
does CHAT understand the relationship of class, cultural and
political consciousness? What kind of research work about class and
political consciousness can CHAT suggest? Does CHAT have a unique
contribution to make in regard to research, theory and political
practice around questions of social class?
I have hopes that the answer to the last question is yes. What will
that contribution be?
At 09:29 AM 5/7/2006 -0700, Mike Cole wrote:
>Attached is an article from a recent handbook of economic sociology on the
>concept of class by Eric Olin Wright. It is in this direction that I was
>looking when I
>started to inquire about what conceptual territory was being indexed in work
>that takes the meaning of the term for granted and then builds from there to
>about relations of class to...................
>Thanks to all who have spurred this discussion along. It is clearly of
>general concern, but I continue to believe that the foundational concept is
>in our work.
>PS-- Wright's homepage is
>There is lots more of potential interest there.
>Thanks to Paul Adler for pointing me in this direction
>Content-Type: application/pdf; name="class-encyclopedia of economics.pdf"
>Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="class-encyclopedia of
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