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The “Class” We Have Lost

  • Joan W. Scott (a1)

Abstract

Geoff Eley's and Keith Nield's essay is marked by a tension between a desire to update the old social history by detaching it from its materialist assumptions on the one hand and a commitment to continue writing narratives of working-class political agency on the other. By insisting that class is still the best way of analyzing inequality and mobilizing resistance to it, the authors foreclose other possibilities for thinking about contemporary politics and for writing critical history. They do not ask the questions that need to be asked, which are, What are the operative political categories capable of moving masses of people into agency? and, What terms might be used to represent inequalities of distribution? These questions don't exclude class but they don't require it either; they also allow for a more open and probing approach than is offered by Eley and Nield.

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The “Class” We Have Lost

  • Joan W. Scott (a1)

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