New characteristics of the class struggle

Are there classes in Sweden today? For many journalists and participants in the public debate, the answer seems to be an obvious “no.” Classes were something that belonged to the old industrial society; in a modern service-based knowledge society, there can certainly be no talk of classes, right? Perhaps of people who are better or worse educated? For most researchers in the social sciences, the answer is just as obviously “yes.” That is because for us, class is not a question of whether a person works with making things or produces service; nor is it about their education, but rather about what position a person has in society’s division of labour.

But that is where our consensus ends. Social scientific terms are often disputed. Moreover, debates on current issues and political discussions are continuously “leaking” into social science research, threatening to transform the meaning of these terms. Class is no exception – rathe...

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