contradictory class locations

Contradictory Class Locationsclick for a larger image
Fig. 6 Contradictory Class Locations. In this figure (from Wright 1985), the interaction of three categories ofassets’ possessed by individuals produces 12 class locations, of which only 1 and 2 do not have contradictory elements. Organizational assets refer to appropriation of surplus ‘based on hierarchy’: ‘skilled credential assets’ to those deriving from education and training.

contradictory class locations

non-polarized class locations’, i.e. ‘class locations within capitalism that are neither exploiters nor exploited’ (Wright, 1985.1989). As such, these are broadly equivalent to the Marxian conception of INTERMEDIATE CLASSES OR INTERMEDIATE STRATA, but these are given greater systematization by Wright, who seeks to provide a theory of potential ‘class alliances’ on this basis. The chief addition in Wright's analysis, compared with earlier ones, is that he takes into account what he terms ‘organizational assets’ and ‘skill assets’ (e.g. educational credentials) as well as more conventional ‘assets in the means of production’. Twelve main class locations are identified in this way (see Fig. 6). Wright examines empirical variations in political attitudes in terms of these schema, although some critics have argued that his approach is ‘over-formalistic and classificatory’.
References in periodicals archive ?
The theory of contradictory class locations was thus formulated precisely to explain the supposedly anomalous status of 'intermediate strata' other than the classic petit bourgeoisie.
On this model, the occupants of middle class contradictory class locations become 'simultaneously exploiters and exploited'.
35) But even if internal differences do indeed make for social solidarity, as Durkheim had argued, they remain differences nonetheless, and when Bourdieu turns to their substance, his dominated fraction becomes increasingly reminiscent of what Wright would term a contradictory class location.
We have seen how Wright's theory of the new petit bourgeoisie of salaried employees, as occupying a contradictory class location between classic petit bourgeoisie and proletariat, successfully isolates the distinction between management and expertise; but then flounders through a whole series of unsatisfactory revisions occasioned by a presumed need to reconcile fidelity to Marx--which would ordinarily suggest that non-managerial employees are proletarians--with an intuitive sense that this cannot and must not be so.