Class Counts: Comparative Studies in Class Analysis

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Class Counts combines theoretical discussions of the concept of class with a wide range of comparative empirical investigations of class and its ramifications in developed capitalist societies. What unites the topics is not a preoccupation with a common object of explanation, but rather a common explanatory factor: class. Four broad themes are explored: class structure and its transformations; the permeability of class boundaries; class and gender; class consciousness. The specific empirical studies include such diverse topics as the sexual division of labour in housework, gender differences in managerial authority, friendship networks in the class structure, the expansion of self-employment in the United States in the past two decades, and the class consciousness of state and private-sector employees. The results of these studies are then evaluated in terms of how they confirm certain expectations within the Marxist tradition of class analysis and how they pose challenging surprises.