multidimensional analysis of social stratification

multidimensional analysis of social stratification

any approach to the analysis of SOCIAL STRATIFICATION and CLASS which emphasizes the importance of a plurality of factors in the determination of the overall SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS or CLASS LOCATION of a person or particular category of persons. Often such a view is seen as stemming from WEBER's as against MARX's approach to the analysis of social stratification and class (see CLASS, STATUS AND PARTY). Among the most influential formulation in these terms is David LOCKWOOD's analysis of the class location of BLACK-COATED WORKERS, where he proposes three separate dimensions: MARKET SITUATION, WORK SITUATION and STATUS SITUATION. The importance of multiple dimensions to stratification, and the significance of these influencing CLASS CONSCIOUSNESS, was also central in the AFFLUENT WORKER studies, in which Lockwood and John GOLDTHORPE were the main researchers. More recently, the idea of sectoral interests which cross cut more conventional class locations has been advanced. (see SECTORAL CLEAVAGES).

While multiple dimensions of social stratification may be seen as undermining more unitary conceptions of class’, especially Marxist conceptions, the argument is not decisive. Examples of Marxian forms of analysis which involve multidimensional analysis, include those emphasizing CONTRADICTORY CLASS LOCATIONS (see also INTERMEDIATE CLASSES OR INTERMEDIATE STRATA). The crucial difference between Marxian and non-Marxian theories lies more in what the implications of a multidimensional analysis are ultimately seen to be, e.g. whether or not analysis is conducted in terms of an assumption that ‘objective’ economic interests determine class relations and class conflict in the long-run. See also STATUS CONSISTENCY AND INCONSISTENCY.

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