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Uprooting class? Culture, world-making and reform

Latimer, Joanna Elizabeth and Munro, Rolland 2015. Uprooting class? Culture, world-making and reform. The Sociological Review 63 (2) , pp. 415-432. 10.1111/1467-954X.12289

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Abstract

The paper opens up the issue of how to relate culture to class in the UK. First, problematizing the conflation of class with status – inherent to stratification models like the GBCS – we theorise culture as ‘world-making’ rather than artistic or individual possession. Second, exploring culture in the wake of reforms aimed at local and institutional ‘cultures’ – said to hold back economic growth – we explore power relations between class and culture. After clarifying how Weber’s analysis of stratification keeps economic relations underpinning class distinct from the cultural mores of status groups, we point to a third dimension in his emphasis on parties – across all modes of life – as the ‘house of power’. Contrary to his supposition of homogeneity, however, we suggest legitimation today requires contesting parties, including factions and interest groups, to recruit from across class and status groups. Arguing recruitment here is enhanced by a mood of endless reform – in which modernity appears bent on tearing up its own foundations – we indicate how the resulting sense of precariousness is augmented by the stratifying technologies of grading and ranking. The pertinent question is: Who benefits from endless reform? And if the answer is no more than to recognise how benefits are skewed to an ‘elite’ working on behalf of owners of capital, then it is time to put aside stratification for an analysis of class relations that pointedly attends to wider notions of culture by asking: Who gets the say in world-making? Key words: class, culture, modernity, parties, power, precariousness, reform, stratification, world-making

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Uncontrolled Keywords: class; culture; modernity; parties; power; precariousness; reform; stratification; world-making
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 0038-0261
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Date of Acceptance: 1 February 2015
Last Modified: 06 Oct 2021 19:02
URI: http://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/70556

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