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The persistence of classes in post-industrial societies

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Rout, Brooks and Manza attack the conclusion of Clark and Lipset (Reading 29) that social classes are dying and that the concept of social class has been rendered redundant by changes in the hierarchical nature of society. They complain that Clark and Lipset confuse social class with social status (hierarchy) and have produced an argument which is conceptually vague and misleading. As a result the reader is diverted from examining enduring inequalities by references to democratisation elsewhere in society. In this extract, Rout and colleagues examine the three ‘situses’ of politics, the economy and the family and, as a result, reject Clark and Lipset’s conclusion. They assert that despite change in advanced capitalist societies, class-based inequalities persist.

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