Meso-Level Structures: Markets and Socioeconomic Classes

This chapter looks at markets, both economic and social, as well as the socioeconomic classes that emerge from inequalities in material resources. The primary topics to be covered are as follows:
  • Markets and individual interests versus the welfare of others—The following themes will be addressed under this heading:
    • Equality versus inequality in exchange transactions

    • Market regulation—responses to inequalities and instabilities

    • Economic versus socioemotional markets

  • Socioeconomic classes in the stratification system of society—This section will deal with the following themes:
    • The primacy of economic resources in a multidimensional stratification system

    • The class structure of American society—Erik Olin Wright’s analysis of control over the means of production and of the people involved in the relations of production

    • The interdependent relations of income, education, occupation, status, lifestyle, and interpersonal relations—Randall Collins’ multidimensional perspective on conflict and social stratification

    • Reproduction of class cultures—This section will review Pierre Bourdieu’s analysis of how class cultures are reproduced as people make use of their material and nonmaterial resources to respond to the constraints, expectations, and opportunities of their class positions.


Cultural Capital Socioeconomic Class Class Position Labor Power Class Culture 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

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