petty bourgeoisie

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Related to petty bourgeoisie: lumpenproletariat, petite bourgeoisie

petty bourgeoisie


petite bourgeoisie

the class of small capitalist business owners. Some theorists also include self-employed artisans, middle and small peasantry and other smallholding farmers. The term has its origins in MARX's work. He distinguished between the social and economic situation of big and small businesses and argued that the logic of competition and successive economic crises in CAPITALISM is to encourage the growth of monopolistic big business (and CLASS POLARIZATION and PROLETARIANIZATION of the petty bourgeoisie). In practice, despite the insecurity and instability of small business ownership (only about 20% survive for more than five years, see Fidler, 1981), the rate of establishment of new small or independent concerns remains very high and may have been encouraged by high unemployment and recession. Empirical studies of the petty bourgeoisie suggest that their social and political attitudes can be characterized as individualistic and independent-minded, mistrustful of large organizations, generally conservative and antisocialist (Bechhofer et al., 1974). The support of members of the petty bourgeoisie is usually considered significant in the rise of European FASCISM in the 1920s and 30s in Germany (see Franz Neumann, 1942). More generally, they are found disproportionately among the supporters of right-wing and extreme right-wing political movements. e.g. McCarthyism in the US (see BELL, 1964).

A recent theoretical redevelopment of the concept occurs in Poulantzas (1973). He has proposed that the non-manual MIDDLE CLASSES can be best conceptualized as a NEW PETTY BOURGEOISIE on the grounds that they are not members of the bourgeoisie, since they do not own the means of production, but nor can they (contrary to the PROLETARIANIZATION thesis) be members of the working class. Their role as assistants of capital and their ideological identification with capitalist interests makes it more appropriate to see them as identified with the ‘old’ petty bourgeoisie. In many ways, however, this theory is better seen in the context of the debate about the NEW MIDDLE CLASS than the traditional conception of the petty bourgeoisie (see CONTRADICTORY CLASS LOCATIONS).

References in periodicals archive ?
Eventually the movement launched by a united opposition (the Pakistan National Alliance) in the guise of Nizam-e-Mustafa, supported by anti-nationalization petty bourgeoisie forces and urban classes, paved the way for his demise.
The petty bourgeoisie is especially likely to think, imagine, and feel in a fantastic manner because it does not participate directly in determining the essential course of reality.
Du Bois's own formulation of the Talented Tenth had as its social base a minuscule black petty bourgeoisie at the turn of the nineteenth century that found its aspirations of recognition and advancement in white America blunted by a brutal racism.
Petty bourgeoisie oscillation between the 'path of the masses' to use a preferred phrase of the late Abd al-Khalig Mahjoub, i.
Considered by many to be Gogol's best work, the drama is set in 1830s St Petersburg, among the petty bourgeoisie of Tsarist Russia.
It mixes occupational skill level, manual/non-manual and a bit of owner/non-owner, into seven categories beginning at the top with Higher level salariat, followed by Lower salariat, Routine non-manual employees, Petty bourgeoisie, Technicians and supervisors of manual workers, Skilled manual workers, and Nonskilled manual workers.
Thus, a reader of the chapter on the German dual system in the volume reviewed here would be forgiven for thinking that it arose de novo in the early 1960s, whereas its ideological foundations, we are told by Greinert (2007), are to be found in the Bismarckian period where the apprenticeship system was conceived as a means of protecting the petty bourgeoisie against 'proletarianisation'.
Despite his metamorphosis from a spokesperson for the proletariats to a paid-up member of the petty bourgeoisie, I noticed that his communist day oratory skills remained intact.
Gleb Uspenskii (1843-1902) was a chronicler first of the morals of the provincial Russian petty bourgeoisie, or meshchanstvo, and then, from the 1870s, of the way of life of the post-emancipation peasant community.
The authors trace all four social strata, following the conventional jargon of class analysis, of petty bourgeoisie, working class, middle class and capitalists through roughly twenty-five years of revolutionary socioeconomic policies.
Although the author concludes his book by the futuristic look at the rise of rural petty bourgeoisie and the intermediate class, it is doubtful if the dynastic politics that dominated for much of Sri Lanka's post-independent history between the Jayawardene/Senanayake and the Bandaranaike/Ratwatte has already run its course.
144) Invisible, too, is Richmond's black working class; the author's focus is squarely on the black petty bourgeoisie and elite.