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The Moral Significance of Class

by Andrew (Lancaster University) Sayer

The Moral Significance of Class Synopsis

The Moral Significance of Class, first published in 2005, analyses the moral aspects of people's experience of class inequalities. Class affects not only our material wealth but our access to things, relationships, and practices which we have reason to value, including the esteem or respect of others and hence our sense of self-worth. It shapes the kind of people we become and our chances of living a fulfilling life. Yet contemporary culture is increasingly 'in denial' about class, finding it embarrassing to acknowledge, even though it can often be blatantly obvious. By drawing upon concepts from moral philosophy and social theory and applying them to empirical studies of class, this fascinating and accessible study shows how people are valued in a context in which their life-chances and achievements are objectively affected by the lottery of birth class, and by forces which have little to do with their moral qualities or other merits.

The Moral Significance of Class Press Reviews

'It is stimulating and insightful both in the overall thrust of its argument and the details of its analysis ... a book of bread relevance to anyone interested in sociological theory, the normative dimensions of culture, and inequality.' American Journal of Sociology Andrew Sayers' book The Moral Significance of Class is a profound exploration of the complex intersections between morality...and the analysis of social class. It is stimulating and insightful both in the overall thrust of its argument and the details of its analysis. -Erik Olin Wright, American Journal of Sociology This book will be useful to scholars with an interest in Bourdieu's sociological theory, class analysis, issues of distribution and recognition, and critical social theories. Those who advocate a sharp separation between the normative and the positive in social science will probably not be convinced, but others looking to renew critical sociology through an understanding of the normative dimension of social life will find much to consider. -Michele Ollivier, Canadian Journal of Sociology Online

Book Information

ISBN: 9780521850896
Publication date: 12th May 2005
Author: Andrew (Lancaster University) Sayer
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 256 pages
Categories: Social classes,

About Andrew (Lancaster University) Sayer

Andrew Sayer is Professor of Social Theory and Political Economy at the Department of Sociology, Lancaster University. His publications include Microcircuits of Capital (1988, with K. J. Morgan), Method in Social Science (1992), The New Social Economy (1992, with R. A. Walker), Radical Political Economy: A Critique (1995), and Realism and Social Science (2000), and over eighty articles.

More About Andrew (Lancaster University) Sayer

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