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From Class Structure to Class Formation

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  1. EDM 6210Education Policy and SocietyLecture 8Education Policy and Social Differentiation: The Class-Formation Analysis

  2. From Class Structure to Class Formation • Orthodox Marxist core mode of class analysis • Class location, class place and structure analysis: The class in itself thesis • Class formation and class struggle: The class for itself thesis • The theory of history: The thesis of class struggle history

  3. Class Formation (Wright, 1997, p. 374)

  4. (Wright, 1997, p. 379)

  5. (Wright, 1997, p. 380) Strong or weak class formation Unitary or fragmented class formation Revolutionary, counter-revolution or reformist class formation

  6. From Class Structure to Class Formation • E.O. Wright micro-macro levels of class analysis • Micro-level class analysis • Class location • Class places • Class positions • Class consciousness • Perception and observation • Theories of consequences • Preferences

  7. (Wright, 1997, p. 385)

  8. (Wright, 1997, p. 385-6)

  9. (Wright, 1997, p. 386)

  10. From Class Structure to Class Formation • E.O. Wright micro-macro levels of class analysis • Micro-level class analysis • Class location • Class consciousness • Class practice: “Activities engaged in by members of a class using class capacities in order to realize at least some of their class interest.” (1997, p. 381)

  11. From Class Structure to Class Formation • E.O. Wright micro-macro levels of class analysis • Macro-level class analysis • Class structure • Class formation • Material interests generated from class structure • Class identity emerged from lived experience • Resources distributed in the class structure • Class struggle

  12. From Class Structure to Class Formation • E.O. Wright micro-macro levels of class analysis • Micro-level class analysis: Class consciousness • Macro-level class analysis: Class formation • The micro-macro linkage in class analysis

  13. Class Consciousness and Class Culture • E.O. Wright survey of class consciousness • Measuring class consciousness

  14. (Wright, 1985, p. 146)

  15. Class Consciousness and Class Culture • E.O. Wright survey of class consciousness • Measuring class consciousness • Class ideology study in three countries

  16. Class Formation and Struggle: Debate on the Historical Mission of the Proletarian • Margaret R. Somers’ deconstructing Marxist class formation theory • The metanarrative underlying the class formation theory • From pre-industrial to industrial society • Proletarianization • The teleological prediction underlying class formation theory • The historical mission of English working class

  17. Class Formation and Struggle: Debate on the Historical Mission of the Proletarian • Margaret R. Somers’ deconstructing Marxist class formation theory • The anomalous proposition in Marxist’s class formation study Why have the English working class (and just about all working classes) resolutely refused to behave “properly” or to perform its “historical mission”?

  18. Class Formation and Struggle: Debate on the Historical Mission of the Proletarian • Somers Theory of class formation as social narrativity • The concept of social narrativity Social narrativity is “concepts of social epistemology and social ontology. (It)… posits through narrartivity that we come to know, understand, and make sense of the social world, and through which we constitute our social identity. It matters… that we come to be (usually unconsciously) who we are (however ephemeral, multiple, and changing) by our locations in social narrative and networks that rarely of our own making.” (Somers, 1997, p.82)

  19. Class Formation and Struggle: Debate on the Historical Mission of the Proletarian • Somers Theory of class formation as social narrativity • Component of social narrativity • Relationality of parts, • Temporality, sequence and places, • Causal emplotment, and • Selective appropriation

  20. Class Formation and Struggle: Debate on the Historical Mission of the Proletarian • Somers Theory of class formation as social narrativity • Four kinds of narrativity • Ontological narratives and the constitution of narrative identity • Public, cultural and institutional narratives • Conceptual / analytical / sociological narrativity • Metanarrativity

  21. Class Formation and Struggle: Debate on the Historical Mission of the Proletarian • Somers Theory of class formation as social narrativity • Two methodological concepts • Narrative identity: Class identity, class consciousness and class action are mediated by narrative rather by interest • Relational setting: It refers to the temporal and spatial configuration of public narrativities and social and cultural environment within which ontological narratives are constituted.

  22. Class Formation and Struggle: Debate on the Historical Mission of the Proletarian • Somers Theory of class formation as social narrativity • Two methodological concepts • Narrative identity: Class identity, class consciousness and class action are mediated by narrative rather by interest • Relational setting: It refers to the temporal and spatial configuration of public narrativities and social and cultural environment within which ontological narratives are constituted. • Somers’ research on English working class formation in 1800-1850

  23. Narrative of citizenship formation and constitution of public sphere OR narrative of class formation and constitution of class society

  24. Pierre Bourdieu’s Theory of Class Practice • Bourdieu’s methodological stance in class analysis “The construction of the theory of the social space presupposes a series of breaks with Marxist theory. • It presupposes a break with the tendency to emphasize substances — here, real groups whose number, limits, members, etc. one claims to be able to define — at the expense of relations and • with the intellectualist illusion which leads one to consider the theoretical class, constructed by the social scientist, as a real class, an effectively mobilized group; • a break with economics, which leads one to reduce the social field, a multi-dimensional space, to the economic field alone, to the relations of economic production; and

  25. Pierre Bourdieu’s Theory of Class Practice • Bourdieu’s methodological stance in class analysis “The construction of the theory of the social space …. • a break, finally, with objectivism, which goes hand in hand with intellectualism, and which leads one to overlook the symbolic struggles that take place in different fields, and where what is at stake is the very representation of the social world, and in particular the hierarchy within each of the fields and between the different fields.” (Bourdieu, 1991, p. 229; my numbering)

  26. Bourdieu, Pierre (1991) “Social Space and the Genesis of ‘Classes’. Pp.229-251. In P. Bourdieu. Language and Symbolic Power. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Pierre Bourdieu, (1930-2002)

  27. Pierre Bourdieu’s Theory of Class Practice • Bourdieu’s theory of social space • Concepts of social space and field • Social space: “The social world can be represented in the form of a (multi-dimensional) space constructed on the basis of principles of differentiation and distribution constituted by the set of properties active in the social universe under consideration, that is, able to confer force or power on their possessor in that universe. Agents and groups of agents are thus defined by their relative positions in this space. Each of them is confined to a position or a precise class of neighbouring position.” (Bourdieu, 1991, p. 229-230)

  28. Pierre Bourdieu’s Theory of Class Practice • Bourdieu’s theory of social space • Concepts of social space and field • Field and field of force: “In so far as the properties chosen to construct this space are active properties, the space can also be described as a field of forces: in other words, as a set of objective power relations imposed on all those who enter this field, relations which are not reducible to the intentions of individual agents or even to direct interactions between agents.” (Bourdieu, 1991, p. 230)

  29. Pierre Bourdieu’s Theory of Class Practice • Bourdieu’s concept of capital: • “The active properties that are chosen as principles of construction of the social space are the different kinds of power or capital that are current in the field.” (Bourdieu, 1991, p. 230, my underline)

  30. Pierre Bourdieu’s Theory of Class Practice • Bourdieu’s concept of capital: • Definition of capital: “Capital is accumulated labor (in its materialized form or its 'incorporated', embodied form) which, when appropriated on a private, i.e. exclusive, basis by agents or groups of agents, enable them to appropriate social energy in the form of reified or living labor. It is a force inscribed in objective or subjective structures, but it is also the principle underlying the immanent regularities of the social world. It is what makes the games of society—not least, the economic game—something other than simple games of chance offering at every moment the possibility of a miracle.”(Bourdieu, 1997, p. 46)

  31. Pierre Bourdieu’s Theory of Class Practice • Bourdieu’s concept of capital: • Forms of capital • Economic capital “is immediately and directly convertible into money and may be institutionalized in the form of property rights.” • Cultural capital can exit in three states (1997, p. 47) • embodied state, i.e. in the form of long-lasting dispositions of the mind and body; (1997, p. 47) • objectified state, i.e. in the form of cultural goods (pictures, books, dictionaries, instruments, machines, etc.), which are the trace or realization of theories or critiques of these theories, problematics, etc. • institutionalized state, i.e. in the form of educational qualifications (1997, p. 47)

  32. Pierre Bourdieu’s Theory of Class Practice • Bourdieu’s concept of capital: • Forms of capital • Social capital “is the aggregate of the actual or potential resources which are linked to possession of a durable network of more or less institutionalized relationships of mutual acquaintance and recognition – or in other words, to membership in a group – which provides each of its members with the backing of the collectivity-owned capital. (1997, p. 51) • “Symbolic capital commonly called prestige, reputation, fame, etc.” (1991, p.230)

  33. Pierre Bourdieu’s Theory of Class Practice • Concept of the “space of positions”: As each forms of capital establishes itself as the active property in a particular a field of force, “a multi-dimensional space of position” is formed. Agents are thus be distributed in this space of positions in two dimensions, “in the first dimension, according to the overall volume of capital they possess, and, in the second dimension, according to the composition of their capital – in other words, according to the relative weight of the different kinds of capital in the total set of their assets.” (Bourdieu, 1991, p. 231)

  34. Pierre Bourdieu’s Theory of Class Practice • Concept of the “space of positions”: • …..Subsequently, Bourdieu reformulates the fundamental dimensions in the constructing space of positions into three. In his own words, “one can construct a space whose three fundamental dimensions are defined by volume of capital, composition of capital, and change in these two properties over time.” (Bourdieu, 1979, p. 114)

  35. Pierre Bourdieu’s Theory of Class Practice • Concept of class: “One the basis of knowledge of the space of positions, one can crave out classes in the logical sense of the word, i.e. sets of agents who occupy similar positions and who, being place in similar conditions and submitted to similar types of conditioning, have every chance of having similar dispositions and interests, and thus of producing similar practices and adopting similar stances.” (Bourdieu, 1991, p. 231)

  36. Pierre Bourdieu’s Theory of Class Practice • Concept of class habitus: • Concept of habitus as methodological device synthesizing the controversy between methodological objectivism and idealism and as one of the essential constituting concept of Bourdieu’s Theory of Practice/Logic of Practice.

  37. Pierre Bourdieu’s Theory of Class Practice • Concept of class habitus: … • Definition of habitus: It can simply be “defined as a system of dispositions” (Bourdieu, 1977, p. 214) found in practices of agents and group of agents. More specifically, it refers to • "systems of durable, transposable dispositions, structured structures predisposed to function as structuring structures, that is, as principles of the generation and structuring of practices and representations that can be objectively adapted to their outcomes without presupposing a conscious aiming at ends or an express mastery of the operations necessary in order to attain them. Objectively regulated and ‘regular’ without being in any way the product of obedience to rules, they can be collectively orchestrated without being the product of the organizing (orchestrating) action of a conductor” (Bourdieu, 1990, p. 53; 1977, p. 72)

  38. Pierre Bourdieu’s Theory of Class Practice • Concept of class habitus: • Definition of habitus: …. • “The habitus, the durably installed generative principle of regulated improvisation, produces practices which tend to reproduce the regularities immanent in the objective conditions to the production of their generative principle, while adjusting to the demands inscribed as objective potentialities in the situation, as defined by the cognitive and motivating structures making up the habitus.” (1977, P.78)

  39. Pierre Bourdieu’s Theory of Class Practice • Concept of class habitus: • Habitus and history: Bourdieu conceives habitus as “a product of history”. • “The habitus, a product of history, produces individual and collective practices – more history – in accordance with the schemes generated by history. It ensures the active presence of past experiences, which, deposited in each organism in the form of schemes of perception, thought and action, tend to guarantee the ‘correctness’ of practices and their constancy over time, more reliably than all formal rules and explicit norms.” (Bourdieu, 1990, p. 54)

  40. Pierre Bourdieu’s Theory of Class Practice • Concept of class habitus: • Habitus and history: Bourdieu conceives habitus as “a product of history”. • “The habitus – embodied history, internalized as a second nature and so forgotten as history – is the active presence of the whole past of which it is the product. As such, it is what gives practices their relative autonomy with respect to external determinations of the immediate present. This autonomy is that of the past, enacted and acting, which functioning as accumulated capital, produces history on the basis of history and so ensure the permanence in change that makes the individual agent a world within the world.” (Bourdieu, 1990, P. 56)