Reimagining Class in Australia

Marxism, Populism and Social Science

  • Henry Paternoster

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Henry Paternoster
    Pages 1-20
  3. Henry Paternoster
    Pages 21-65
  4. Henry Paternoster
    Pages 67-96
  5. Henry Paternoster
    Pages 179-218
  6. Henry Paternoster
    Pages 219-254
  7. Henry Paternoster
    Pages 255-272
  8. Henry Paternoster
    Pages E1-E1
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 273-279

About this book


This book re-evaluates New Left and Marxist texts from the 1980s, in order to explore problems facing the study of ‘class’ which have emerged within Australian and international theories. The author contrasts the popular ideas of Connell, Bourdieu and the ‘Death of Class’ thesis, with those of lesser known texts, concluding that no single definition can account for the various historical meanings of class. Instead, loosely following Castoriadis, the concept of class can best be understood as creatively imagined and institutionalised. Paternoster proposes that class is best studied through historical phenomenology, which can be used to link political economy, cultural sociology and anthropological ethnographies. This approach allows the contributions of Marxist and New Left authors to be reintegrated with contemporary theories. Doing so highlights the significance of labour populism, while cautioning against the ahistorical applications of texts such as Boudieu’s Distinction.

Reimagining Class in Australia will be of interest to students and scholars across a range of disciplines, including sociology, history, political economy and anthropology.


Class analysis Connell Irving 1980's Australian social history 1970's Marxism Populism

Authors and affiliations

  • Henry Paternoster
    • 1
  1. 1.La Trobe UniversityBundooraAustralia

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2017
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-55449-5
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-55450-1
  • Buy this book on publisher's site