How Class Works: Power and Social Movement / Edition 1

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Although Americans like to believe that they live in a classless society, Stanley Aronowitz demonstrates that class remains a potent force. Defining class as the power of social groups to make a difference, he explains that social groups such as labor movements, environmental activists, and feminists become classes when they make demands that change the course of history.
"With How Class Works Aronowitz puts the subject of social class squarely on the intellectual agenda-though in a new, inclusive, and dynamic form. Like his influential False Promises, How Class Works is both intellectually exciting and morally challenging."-Barbara Ehrenreich
"In How Class Works Aronowitz argues for the enduring vitality of the concept of social class as a way of understanding social relations. This is a significant contribution to social theory, an argument certain to be widely considered, debated, and tested."-George Lipsitz, author of American Studies in a Moment of Danger
"An intellectually captivating book on a topic that remains as timely and significant as ever."-Howard Kimeldorf, University of Michigan
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"In How Class Works Aronowitz argues for the enduring vitality of the concept of social class as a way of understanding social relations. This is a significant contribution to social theory, an argument certain to be widely considered, debated, and tested.”—George Lipsitz, author of American Studies in a Moment of Danger"Few scholars have the erudition or the courage to tackle such an expansive set of issues. We are fortunate that Aronowitz has both. He has produced an intellectually captivating book on a topic that remains as timely and significant as ever."—Howard Kimeldorf, Professor of Sociology, University of Michigan

“Once again Stanley Aronowitz has shaken up our complacent notions about social reality, and challenged his readers with a provocative reflection on past, present, and future popular movements for change. Whether one agrees with Aronowitz or not, there is something worth thinking about on every page of this, his newest, book.”—Phil Nicholson, Long Island Newsletter

Library Journal
"Class power sets the framework of what is politically possible," observes sociologist/ activist Aronowitz (Graduate Ctr., CUNY; coeditor, Paradigm Lost: State Theory Reconsidered) in his most recent in a long line of books on social politics. Aronowitz is both scholarly (abundant notes support his arguments) and personal (he uses the first person and makes no bones about his own beliefs) as he dispels the myth of America as a classless society, a land of "equal opportunity." Frequently citing predecessor and fellow sociologist C. Wright Mills, Aronowitz goes beyond traditional concepts of social stratification by including discussion of social groups (e.g., feminists, environmentalists, and labor movements) and their "historicity" (the conditions that led to their creation). By understanding the inherent power of these groups, we see how they can implement change. Readers may find this book somewhat sprawling; Aronowitz's range is wide (he includes commentary on international power blocs) and opinionated (he takes on, for example, the "Scions of Old Money" and their presumed acceptance-no matter their qualifications-to Ivy League schools). But if this book is provocative, it is also erudite. Appropriate for larger public, academic, and special libraries.-Ellen Gilbert, Princeton, NJ Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300105049
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 8/2/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 1,384,196
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.61 (d)

Meet the Author

Stanley Aronowitz is Distinguished Professor of Sociology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 Class Matters 12
2 Time and Space in Class Theory 38
3 History and Class Theory 63
4 Does the United States Have a Ruling Class? 92
5 National and International Blocs 122
6 The New Social Movements and Class 141
7 Ecology and Class 171
8 Utopia on Hold 199
Notes 231
Index 253
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