The New Class Society fourth edition offers an original, well-researched, and highly revealing analysis of the American class structure. This book is essential reading for those interested in the problem of rising inequality, but more broadly it is an invaluable resource for anyone concerned about the current and future state of the American Dream.
A thoughtful, very up-to-date, radical interpretation of the changing American class system.
The New Class Society vividly document the end of the middle class and the shameful reality of a two-tiered America. This is sociology that speaks truth to power, opens the conversation we need about social class, and exposes the illusions of the American Dream. Required reading for every American concerned with America.
This text is both an introduction to class structures in the US and an analysis of their evolution and entrenchment. The authors, American sociology professors, argue that over the last 40 years dramatic class inequalities have re-emerged even deeper than before. They take a pluralistic approach to defining and studying class, favoring socioeconomic and not just productive interpretations. Their new class system is defined by a privileged upper-class and a highly stratified new working-class. They consider the influence of globalization, how the middle-class died, class war, money in politics, the information industry, the role of education in creating new forms of privilege, class-biased policy planning, the "pacification of everyday life" and then the role of the culture industry, and class in the 21st century. New material in this edition includes up to date data on The Great Recession, student debt crisis, and electronic media's influence on people's perception of class.
In this 4th edition of a seminal work, Wysong (Indiana Univ.-Kokomo), Perrucci (Purdue), and Wright (Wichita State Univ.) update their previous assertions regarding the loss of the middle class and the American dream. In the wake of the recent recession, banking and industry bailouts, the Occupy movement, and similar influences, the underlying message of the previous editions is even more salient. This volume represents an updated version of what came before, expounding on the 'double diamond' model of US society. Supporting their assertions with new and diverse evidence, the authors support this model as a departure from past constructs of society that more resemble a layered wedding cake, for example. Recent years have been replete with evidence of the theory represented by this double diamond model. Therefore, since this volume represents the most current permutation and presentation of the growing chasm in US society, it remains an exceptionally important book. The developments of recent years have done nothing to weaken the core of the theory, but rather have provided substantial and nuanced support. Summing Up: Essential. Upper-level undergraduate and graduate collections related to stratification.
A sense of history infuses this new edition of The New Class Society, and that may be why the book makes for such an effective guidebook to how economic classes in the United States segment and interrelate in an increasingly unequal nation. The authorsveteran sociologists from Indiana University, Purdue, and Wichita Stateoffer a new structural take on America’s class structure. Their ‘double diamond’ places the ‘1 percent’ in a detailed perspective that carefully subdivides America’s “privileged” and ‘new working class.’ Educators across the country have been using earlier editions of The New Class Society for over a dozen years. This fourth edition deserves a wider audience.
Sociologists Perrucci (Purdue U.) and Wysong (Indiana U.-Kokomo) describe the transformation of the mid-century, middle-class American society into a bifurcated and polarized two-class society: 20% privileged, and 80% new working class. The first edition appeared about five years ago. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
This is an important book . . . it should revise the thinking of sociologists. Essential.
The New Class Society is a sociologically rigorous class analysis of capitalist society . . . a populist manifesto that meticulously documents and scathingly indicts the immense increase in class inequality.
Perrucci and Wysong move us toward a clearer and more usable set of linkages between the macro- and the micro-dynamics of class inequality. The authors have opened a window through which students of inequality can better comprehend the relations of power and production that other scholars take for granted.
The New Class Society is a must-read for anyone interested in social class in the United States.