Recast Dreams

Recast Dreams: Class and Gender Consciousness in Steeltown

D.W. Livingstone
J. Marshall Mangan
Copyright Date: 1996
Edition: 2
Pages: 224
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.3138/j.ctt2ttsx0
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Recast Dreams
    Book Description:

    Based on the Steelworker Families and Hamilton Families Projects, D.W. Livingstone and Marshall Mangan revise the materialist approach to group consciousness, employing a Marxist-Feminist perspective to discuss practices in the household sphere and the production of goods and services in the paid workplace.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-0290-8
    Subjects: Sociology, Business

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgements
    (pp. vii-viii)
    DWL and JMM
  4. Contributors
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Introduction: The Changing Context of Class and Gender Relations in Contemporary Canada
    (pp. 1-14)
    D.W. Livingstone and J. Marshall Mangan

    During the post-World War II period of economic expansion, many unionized male workers in heavy industry came to think of themselves as part of the comfortable middle class, with secure, well-paying jobs. As John Porter (1961) observed, most people in Canadian society during that period thought of themselves as “middle class” in this comfortable sense. The men were unquestionably the primary breadwinners, and their wives’ proper place was widely presumed to be in the home, caring for the needs of the male breadwinners and the children.

    This worldview of “middle-classlessness” and male prerogative is now a faded memory. Since the...

  6. 1 Men’s Employment Classes and Class Consciousness: An Empirical Comparison of Marxist and Weberian Class Distinctions
    (pp. 15-51)
    D.W. Livingstone and J. Marshall Mangan

    If social classes exist in any political sense in contemporary societies (and the number of sceptics who deny their relevance is mounting), locations in a socially constructed class structure should be related in some discernible fashion to differences in expressions of class consciousness. This reasoning is grounded in a general epistemological perspective of “constructivist realism,” a theoretical position that “recognizes both that there are ‘deep’ structures that constrain social practices and representationsandthat the practical perceptions and actions of agents contribute, via individual and collective struggles, to change or preserve these structures, to produce the facticity of the objective...

  7. 2 Class, Gender, and Expanding Conceptions of Class Consciousness
    (pp. 52-71)
    D.W. Livingstone and J. Marshall Mangan

    Over the past generation, class analysts have become embroiled in disputes about the criteria for defining class positions and the nature of class consciousness in advanced capitalism (e.g., Marshall 1982; Wright 1980).* These disputes may partially reflect current processes of class recomposition (Blackwell and Seabrook 1985), but the prevalent forms of Marxist theory have also been accused of treating social reality in class-reductionist terms (e.g., Laclau and Mouffe 1985; Parkin 1979; Resnick and Wolff 1987). In particular, many feminists have become highly critical of class theories that typically either treat class relations as sex-blind or see gender inequalities as simply...

  8. 3 Feet in Both Camps: Household Classes, Divisions of Labour, and Group Consciousness
    (pp. 72-99)
    D.W. Livingstone and Elizabeth Asner

    In all modern societies, social classes are structured by gender, and gender experiences vary by social class.* This chapter explores contextuating conditions of class and gender relations in a contemporary Canadian urban setting. In our view, an adequate account of class and gender practices within any advanced capitalist society requires recognition of the irreducible shaping influences not only of class and gender on each other, but also of ethnic and age-based relations; and it further requires specification of the time-space dimensions of all these relations, most notably their continual operation among paid workplace, household, and community sites in interaction with...

  9. 4 Gender Consciousness at Work: Modification of the Male Breadwinner Norm
    (pp. 100-130)
    D.W. Livingstone and Meg Luxton

    Men still rule most of the world, but the contemporary women’s movement has seriously challenged both the naturalization of gender differences and the assumed necessity of the subordination of women to men.* The women’s movement and the lesbian and gay liberation movements have also directly challenged traditional distinctions between the categories of “man”/“woman” and “masculine”/“feminine.” As a result of these challenges, the social construction of gender has become an increasingly visible and problematic process.

    Similarly, anti-racist activists have called on all three movements to recognize the importance of race and ethnic differences. They have persuasively argued that much feminist, lesbian,...

  10. 5 “Down to Earth People”: Revising a Materialist Understanding of Group Consciousness
    (pp. 131-194)
    Wally Seccombe and D.W. Livingstone

    Our purpose here is to propose a substantial revision of the orthodox Marxist approach to understanding group consciousness.¹ We seek to break with a “class first” framework that treats gender, generational, and race relations as subsidiary to, or somehow derived from, class relations.

    Unlike so many scholars who have made their break with Marxist orthodoxy by embracing some version of poststructuralist theory, we remain steadfast materialists.² The acerbic scepticism of the postmodernists has undoubtedly subverted established dogmas and opened a critical space for rethinking these issues of group identity.³ Progressive social theorists now need to mount an equally vigorous effort...

  11. Appendix: Notes on the Hamilton Families Questionnaire
    (pp. 195-202)
  12. Notes
    (pp. 203-218)
  13. References
    (pp. 219-238)
  14. Index
    (pp. 239-246)