Class Formation and Capitalism. A Second Look At A Classic
Archives Europeennes De Sociologie, 1996, 37, 1, 180-+
SOMERS, Margaret R., Class Formation and Capitalism. A Second Look At A Classic, Archives Europeennes De Sociologie, 1996, 37, 1, 180-+ - https://hdl.handle.net/1814/17098
Retrieved from Cadmus, EUI Research Repository
Studies of class-formation have long been dominated by an espitemology of absense - the study of the absence of Marx's predicted revolutionary class consciousness among the Western working class. Katz-nelson's and Zolberg's path-breaking Working-Class Formation: Nineteenth-century Patterns in Western Europe and the United States (1986) posed a major challenge to this tradition. Instead of being seen as 'deviant' or 'exceptional', moreover, the individual cases of class formation are analysed as variations that can only be explained by each nation's pattern of historical - primarily political-formation. An instant classic, Working-Class Formation has not to date been surpassed by subsequent studies. This essay reviews the strenghts and the weaknesses of this classic volume, suggesting in the final analysis that it does not quite realize the full extent of its radical implications.
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