White Collar: The American Middle Classes / Edition 1

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In print for fifty years, White Collar by C. Wright Mills is considered a standard on the subject of the new middle class in twentieth-century America. This landmark volume demonstrates how the conditions and styles of middle class life—originating from elements of both the newer lower and upper classes—represent modern society as a whole.
By examining white-collar life, Mills aimed to learn something about what was becoming more typically "American" than the once-famous Western frontier character. He painted a picture instead of a society that had evolved into a business-based milieu, viewing America instead as a great salesroom, an enormous file, and a new universe of management.
Russell Jacoby, author of The End of Utopia and The Last Intellectuals, contributes a new Afterword to this edition, in which he reflects on the impact White Collar had at its original publication and considers what it means to our society today.
"A book that persons of every level of the white collar pyramid should read and ponder. It will alert them to their condition for their better salvation."-Horace M. Kaellen, The New York Times (on the first edition)

Now a standard on the subject of the new middle class in 20th century America originating from elements of both the newer lower and upper classes.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A book that persons of every level of the white collar pyramid should read and ponder. It will alert them to their condition for their better salvation."—Horace M. Kaellen, The New York Times (on the first edition)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195157086
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 9/28/2002
  • Edition description: Anniversar
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 1,346,783
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 5.34 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Meet the Author

The late C. Wright Mills, former Professor of Sociology at Columbia University, was a leading critic of modern American civilization. His other books include The Sociological Imagination and The Power Elite (both OUP). Russell Jacoby is Professor of History at UCLA and a contributing writer to The Nation, The New York Times, and Harper's.

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Table of Contents

1. The World of the Small Entrepreneur
1. The Old Middle Classes
2. Property, Freedom and Security
3. The Self-Balancing Society
2. The Transformation of Property
1. The Rural Debacle
2. Business Dynamics
3. The Lumpen-Bourgeoisie
3. The Rhetoric of Competition
1. The Competitive Way of Life
2. The Independent Farmer
3. The Small Business Front
4. Political Persistence
4. The New Middle Class: I
1. Occupational Change
2. Industrial Mechanics
3. White-Collar Pyramids
5. The Managerial Demiurge
1. The Bureaucracies
2. From the Top to the Bottom
3. The Case of the Foreman
4. The New Entrepreneur
5. The Power of the Managers
6. Three Trends
6. Old Professions and New Skills
1. The Professions and Bureaucracy
2. The Medical World
3. Lawyers
4. The Professors
5. Business and the Professions
7. Brains, Inc.
1. Four Phases
2. The Bureaucratic Context
3. The Ideological Demand
4. The Rise of the Technician
8. The Great Salesroom
1. Types of Salesmen
2. The Biggest Bazaar in the World
3. Buyers and Floorwalkers
4. The Salesgirls
5. The Centralization of Salesmanship
6. The Personality Market
9. The Enormous File
1. The Old Office
2. Forces and Developments
3. The White-Collar Girl
4. The New Office
5. The White-Collar Hierarchy
10. Work
1. Meanings of Work
2. The Ideal of Craftsmanship
3. The Conditions of Modern Work
4. Frames of Acceptance
5. The Morale of the Cheerful Robots
6. The Big Slipt
11. The Status Panic
1. White-Collar Prestige
2. The Smaller City
3. The Metropolis
4. The Status Panic
12. Success
1. Patterns and Ideologies
2. The Educational Elevator
3. Origins and Mobilities
4. Hard Times
5. The Tarnished Image
13. The New Middle Class: II
1. Theories and Difficulties
2. Mentalities
3. Organizations
14. White-Collar Unionism
1. The Extent Organized
2. Acceptance and Rejection
3. Individual Involvement
4. The Shape of Unionism
5. Unions and Politics
15. The Politics of the Rearguard
1. Models of Consciousness
2. Political Indifference
3. The Mass Media
4. The Social Structure
5. U.S. Politics
6. The Rearguards
Afterword by Russell Jacoby

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