The New Middle Classes

Life-Styles, Status Claims and Political Orientations

  • Arthur J. Vidich

Part of the Main Trends of the Modern World book series (MTMW)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Introduction

    1. Arthur J. Vidich
      Pages 1-11
  3. Emergence of the New Middle Classes: Theoretical Problems and Historical Changes

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 13-13
    2. Emil Lederer, Jacob Marschak
      Pages 55-86
    3. Anthony Giddens
      Pages 103-129
  4. The Status Sphere and the Psychology of Classes

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 131-131
    2. Hans H. Gerth, C. Wright Mills
      Pages 133-143
    3. Hans Speier
      Pages 144-150
    4. Hans Speier
      Pages 151-160
    5. Joseph Bensman, Arthur J. Vidich
      Pages 161-185
  5. The New Middle Classes in the United States

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 187-187
    2. C. Wright Mills
      Pages 189-202
    3. C. Wright Mills
      Pages 203-214
    4. Arthur S. Evans Jr
      Pages 215-237
    5. Joseph Bensman, Arthur J. Vidich
      Pages 238-258
  6. The New Class System in the United States: Life-Styles and Political Orientations

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 259-259
    2. Joseph Bensman, Arthur J. Vidich
      Pages 261-280
    3. Arthur J. Vidich, Joseph Bensman
      Pages 281-299
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 387-405

About this book


This volume is designed first to provide a theoretical orientation and historical perspective on the rise of the middle classes in modern civilization, and second, to portray the social and political roles these classes have played and continue to play in the United States over the past century, with particular reference to the American class structure and political economy. Our method is necessarily both historical and sociological and offers an orientation for understanding contemporary American society. The essays included here were written between 1926 and 1982: they reveal both the genealogical development of sociological thought about the middle classes and the substantive content of these classes' life styles, status claims and political orientations. The present work stresses empirical studies and puts forth neither a theoretical interpretation nor a conceptual taxonomy; rather it delineates the emergence and the social and political significance of the new middle classes in relation to the classes, above and below, that preceded them.


Design Nation politics sociology transformation

Editors and affiliations

  • Arthur J. Vidich
    • 1
  1. 1.New School for Social ResearchNew YorkUSA

Bibliographic information