Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.645028
Title: Social classes in Marxist theory and in post-war Britain : an investigation of some problems in the Marxist theory of classes, with relation to the analysis of class relations and politics in post-war Britain
Author: Cottrell, Allin
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1981
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Abstract:
This thesis is organised in three movements. The first (chapters 1 and 2) comprises a critical discussion of Marx's writings on social classes, and the relations between classes and political forces, along with an examination of some modern Marxist positions. The main proposition argued in this movement is that class analysis, if it is to achieve political relevance, must avoid the 'reductionism' which makes political forces merely the 'expression' of pre-given class interests. The second movement (chapters 3 and 4) develops a conceptualisation of the economic class relations (possession of/separation from the means of production) of contemporary British capitalism. It is argued that the possession of the means of production as capital is increasingly impersonal, and the agents of this impersonal possession (multi-divisional joint-stock companies, financial institutions) are examined in some detail. From the analysis of this movement, conclusions are drawn concerning the problems and opportunities facing the 'socialist project' for the transformation of economic class relations. The third movement (chapters 5 and 6) analyses the political conditions under which a transformation of economic class relations might be achieved. This analysis comprises: (a) a discussion of the concept of 'social collectivities', as an intermediate concept between economic classes and political forces; (b) an examination of the process of formation of social collectivities as support-blocs for political forces, first in general terms and then concretely in relation to post war British politics; and (c) an analysis of the particular relations between economic classes, social collectivities and political forces in the period of Margaret Thatcher's government 1979-1981.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.645028  DOI: Not available
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