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Revista Brasileira de Ciências Sociais

versão impressa ISSN 0102-6909versão On-line ISSN 1806-9053


EDER, Klaus. Does social class matter in social movement studies? A theory of middle class radicalism. Rev. bras. Ci. Soc. [online]. 2001, vol.16, n.46, pp.5-27. ISSN 0102-6909.

The paper discusses the question of the constitutive relationship between social class and social movement. Instead of accepting a social movement as the result of one social class, it is argued that a social class is also made of collective actions namely social movement. This implies that the social class cannot be treated as an independent variable, claiming an objective status. This is considered to be a form of reifying the notion of class. Against this, it is argued that class is the product of a collective action which can be analyzed regarding its social composition, its organizing social networks and its cultural framing. Such a framework of class analysis is then applied to a middle class approach that has proved to be particularly suitable. Instead of repeating old claims of a non-homogeneous middle class, which reduces a class of people to a mass of people, it is shown how this class constitutes itself in a continuous action and mobilization process, as a social class with distinctive boundaries, networks and cultural orientations. In this sense, class matters, and class analysis can still be seen as a central tool for understanding macrosociological phenomena.

Palavras-chave : Social classes; Social movements; New middle class; Post-modernity.

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