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Class Inequality: Neo-Marxism

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Olin Wright
Marxism fails to explain the existence of the middle class in the 20th and 21st Centuries. There are three classes: 1. Ruling class. 2. Middle class. 3. Working class. The middle class occupy a CONTRADICTORY CLASS POSITION – they are both exploited by the ruling class and exploit the working class.
Notes that the upper class have high social capital, thus enabling their peer groups to operate informally through membership of certain clubs. The peer group experience leads to ‘old boy networks’ made up of people who share the same cultural assets. These networks have exclusive admission policies which prevent any inferior classes joining.
The skill content of the work has been reduced, so some white collar workers have lost the advantages they previously enjoyed over manual employees. They have become ‘proletarianized’. Some professional jobs have also become deskilled. They lose their power, their work is closely regulated and they are made aware of subordinisation. Their pay levels are threatened as they become unable to control the supply of labour into their profession. There is always a ‘reserve army of labour’ to step into their jobs.