middle-class radicalismforms of political radicalism, including left-wing voting, by people from non-manual backgrounds. Parkin (1968) employed the term to refer to members of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND). Middle-class radicalism is of interest in much the same way as WORKING-CLASS CONSERVATISM as a form of class-deviant political action, i.e. activity contrary to prevailing or expected class norms. Two distinct locations of types of ‘middle class’ class-deviant political activity can be identified:
- the lower middle class left’, left-wing voting and action by those marginal to the middle class, e.g. routine manual workers; and
- the ‘upper middle class left’, forms of left-wing political activity particularly associated with membership of the caring professions and public sector employment (Jary, 1978). see also VOTING BEHAVIOUR.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000