Challenge of Class Analysis

Challenge of Class Analysis

Copyright Date: 1988
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  • Book Info
    Challenge of Class Analysis
    Book Description:

    Clement uses class analysis to explore the complexities of contemporary Canadian society in this revealing study. He also explores the relationship between class and gender, ethnicity and region, comparing illustrations from Canada with those from countries such as Sweden and the U.S. An extensive review of material on class in Canada is provided.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-8127-2
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[iv])
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. [v]-[vi])
    (pp. 1-2)
    (pp. 3-4)
    Wallace Clement
  5. CHAPTER 1 Challenging Class Analysis to Understand Inequalities
    (pp. 5-18)

    Inequality is a core concept unlocking a host of implications. Often inequalities serve as motivators for things to be eradicated.They are often used to flag substantive social problems, ranging from relations among nations to those within families. They also offer a basis of methodology as a research technique (such as variance measured by the Lorenz curve for income distribution), as an empirical baseline from which ascriptive characteristics are weighed and, to some extent, as a paradigm for methodological evaluation that combines both the researcher’s motivation and a technique for signalling substantive problems. Finally, inequalities are also problems for social theory,...

  6. CHAPTER 2 Does Class Matter? Accounting for the Direction of Canadian Society
    (pp. 19-32)

    What is “class”? Gerhard Lenski defined virtually everything as “class”, including racial, ethnic and religious groups, gender and age.¹ R. M. MacIver’s usage is even more diverse, including “intelligence-test classes, shape-of-head classes, color-of-hair classes.”² Lasswell and Kaplan’s definition—“aclassis a major aggregate of persons engaging in practices giving them a similar relation to the shapping and distribution (and enjoyment) of one or more specific values”—is equally indiscriminate. They go on to say that “there are as many kinds of classes as there are values.”³ These definitions are not particularly insightful.

    Canadians were recently treated to a rare...

  7. CHAPTER 3 Technological Change and Its Effects on Employees: Some Canadian Experiences (with Swedish Subtitles)
    (pp. 33-46)

    In approaching the subject of working life I make a fundamental assumption, namely that people want to work and require work to realize their humanity.The logical consequence of that assumption means a society’s priority should be placed on the availability of jobs, and serious attention should be paid to the quality of those jobs. This logic leads to stressing some positive goals for society. We need to reflect on themillionofficially unemployed Canadians: there are as manyofficiallyunemployed people in Canada as residents of Manitoba! We also need to reflect on the quality of working life: the content...

  8. CHAPTER 4 Canada’s Social Structure: Capital, Labour and the State, 1930-1980
    (pp. 47-68)

    Canada’s past fifty years begin and end with depressions, albeit of significantly different sorts. Between these depressions there was a tremendous industrial expansion during and after the Second World War, an intensification of resource exploitation and major changes in the structure of the labour force.The experience of the 1930s and subsequent struggles created a net of social services designed to catch the fall-out of unemployment, although the scale of demand on the state in the early 1980s threatens to burst the net. This chapter explores changes in the organization of capital, labour and the state over the past fifty years...

  9. CHAPTER 5 Debates and Directions: A Political Economy of Canada’s Resources
    (pp. 69-88)

    Why has Canadian political economy devoted so much effort to understanding resources? The answer is not self-evident since a declining share of the labour force appears to be working in the resource sector. The primary justification for the attention is the integrity of resources to the fabric of Canadian society. Resources established the formative forces which have left their scars on Canada’s economic and social life; moreover, they remain the cornerstone of Canada’s export-dependent economy and the life blood for a multitude of resource-dependent communities spread across the country. Rex Lucas’s classic study of single resource industries,Minetown, Milltown, Railtown,¹...

  10. CHAPTER 6 Labour in Exposed Sectors: Canada’s Resource Economy
    (pp. 89-104)

    Canada’s economy has always experienced “booms and busts” given its heavy reliance upon resource exports. In that sense Canada has always had an exposed economy. There were bound to be major fluctuations (“cyclonics” Harold Innis would call them) with periodic labour shortages and surpluses. Since the early 1970s, however, another force has been at work: the once labour-intensive resource industries have become increasingly capitalintensive.Looked at broadly, this should not be a problem for a national economy since jobs lost in the immediate securing of resources would be replaced in the equipment supply industries; indeed, it may be progressive in the...

  11. CHAPTER 7 Canada’s Coastal Fisheries: Formation of Unions, Co-operatives and Associations
    (pp. 105-134)

    Specifying some meaningful social categories to be used in explaining the political, ideological and cultural positions of various actors within Canada’s coastal fishing is the purpose of this chapter. These social categories will begin at the most general level and move toward specifying the social organization of production and class relations relevant to understanding fisheries’ unions, co-operatives and associations. The designation “fishers”camouflages within a single occupation many class relations, ranging from the captain of a giant trawler who is part of a processor’s management structure, to the crew of sixteen working under his command, to an “independent” boat owner who...

  12. CHAPTER 8 The Limits of Co-operation: Strategies for Fisheries Development in Canada and Norway
    (pp. 135-150)

    Co-operatives have been important institutions within the fisheries as ways to organize the production and marketing of their members’ catch. Within Canada there has been a wide range of co-operative practices, and they have been utilized in part as strategies for state policies when private capital failed to meet the requirements of those engaged in the fishery. This chapter explores the major co-peratives and co-operative practices in Canada’s fisheries, particularly as they relate to organized labour. This will be preceded by a theory of the internal dynamics of co-operatives based upon an understanding of property relations. In the conclusion the...

  13. CHAPTER 9 Regionalism as Uneven Development: Class and Region in Canada
    (pp. 151-164)

    Regionalism is a particularly complex theme to isolate since it intersects with virtually all aspects.of Canadian society. As such, it makes an interesting subject, but a difficult issue to address. I have chosen to explore the subject by first briefly examining the concept itself and then by tracing the history of Canadian development in each of the regions. This background is a necessary precondition for engaging in a serious discussion of the specifics of regionalism.

    This is an interesting time to examine regionalism because Canada is in the apparently contradictory position of having all regions of the country experiencing uneven...

  14. CHAPTER 10 Class Cleavages and Canadian Political Economy
    (pp. 165-207)

    At the heart of political economy, as a perspective and substantive area, is the issue of class cleavages. A rich explanation of Canada’s political economy can be derived from an analysis of class cleavages using the classical divisions of working, petite bourgeoisie and capitalist classes, including various fractions within each class. The relations within and between these classes can account for many of the central dynamics within Canadian society. To accomplish this task it is necessary to assess existing studies of class structure and relations in Canada. The literature in this field is richer than may have been thought, although...

  15. Back Matter
    (pp. 208-208)