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The globalisation of positional competition

Brown, Phillip ORCID: 2000. The globalisation of positional competition. Sociology 34 (4) , pp. 633-653. 10.1177/S0038038500000390

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Positional competition for credentials and jobs has been a major focus of sociological inquiry. However, there has been little attempt to examine the impact of economic globalisation on competition for a livelihood. This is an important question for sociological analysis as centre-left Modernisers, including New Labour in Britain and the Democrats in the United States, assume that globalisation has transformed the nature of positional class conflict. They argue that it is now the absolute standards of educational achievement, rather than the relative standing of credential holders within local or national labour markets, which are of primary importance. Drawing on neo-Weberian theories of social closure, this article will argue that the Modernisers' description of the global labour market and its impact on positional class conflict is seriously flawed. It will also be argued that existing theories of social closure are inadequate and need to be developed in terms of what we call Positional Conflict Theory.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2022 09:56

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