trade-union consciousnessthe limited, sectionalist, less than revolutionary, social-democratic consciousness which, according to Lenin, the working class spontaneously develops from the narrow ‘conviction that it is necessary to combine in unions, fight employers and strive to compel governments to pass legislation’ (LENIN, 1902). Since these ameliorative objectives serve to impede working-class unity and ensure subservience to bourgeois ideology, the theoretical and philosophical insights of intellectuals are necessary for the development of class consciousness. This thesis has influenced subsequent debates about TRADE UNIONS in capitalist societies. see also CLASS CONSCIOUSNESS.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000