Department of Sociology

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The concept of the work situation in class analysis

Kristoffer Chelsom Vogt recently published an article in Current Sociology about "The concept of the work situation in class analysis".

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This article discusses Lockwood’s concept of the work situation and its fate within class analysis. For a brief period, this concept served to make the experiences that people have by virtue of their positions in the division of labour a central concern in class analysis. Over time, however, attention to such issues has given way to an increasing interest in workers’ individual characteristics, and the measurement of social mobility according to class schemes. Over recent decades, the wider contexts of ‘class culture’ and ‘social space’ have become common frames of interpretation. While these developments have all broadened understandings of social class, their net effect has been to break up the once close relation between class analysis and the study of work. Key findings from recent labour market research suggest that, in the current context of increasing inequality and precariousness, the contribution of class analysis might be strengthened by a reincorporation of attention to work situations.