Class Structure and Ideology: an Empirical Analysis of Neo-Marxist Class Theory and Political Attitudes and Beliefs.
Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
This study examines the relationship between the infrastructure and the superstructure in the monopoly stage of capitalism. With the rise of monopoly capital a major issue of contention has been the development of a new class structure, the debate has centered around the nature and existence of the "middle class(es)". The three major issues are: a split in the working class due to the rise of an 'affluent worker'; a separation of mental and manual labor; and the development of a managerial class. The result has four Marxist alternative explanations of the middle class: contradictory locations, simple polarization, new petty bourgeoisie, and the new class. The present study sought to examine the class structure from a structural position. Structural differences of work between the classes were explored, giving special attention to the managerial class and the position of women and Blacks in it. This model reflected the major dimensions of the class divisions in the four Marxist alternatives. The data in this study were from a larger survey conducted by the National Opinion Research Center on a national sample in 1980. The study was an attempt to refine the measure of class. In particular the focus was on the relationship of the objective conditions of class with class positions. However, it was posited that class was not the only objective condition which affects ideology and thus other factors were examined. The findings regarding the structural differences of work in the classes were: a concentration of managerial positions in the monopoly sector; separation of head and hand as suggested by Braverman; and a concentration of women and Blacks in the working class and competitive sector. Findings in the second part were as follows: support for the idea of a middle class; the working class and owning class were in the polar positions of the issues; there is a weak class effect on political attitudes and beliefs; the results did not support the four Marxist theories of the middle class; and the evidence supports the notion of a "contradictory Professional Managerial class." The study concludes with a discussion of the theoretical implications and the limitations associated with the analysis.
Lord, George Frank III, "Class Structure and Ideology: an Empirical Analysis of Neo-Marxist Class Theory and Political Attitudes and Beliefs." (1982). LSU Historical Dissertations and Theses. 3811.