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Religion and Class

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Part of the New Approaches to Religion and Power book series (NARP)

Abstract

Discourse on class has been doubly repressed in the United States for many decades. In the first place, there is a widespread taboo on acknowledging the existence, let alone social significance, of class differences and conflicts. Second, when “class” is sometimes used analytically, its meaning is treated as known, singular, and universally agreed. Yet the history of class analyses over the millennia shows the profound social insights that such analyses have often achieved and their frequently far-reaching effects on politics, economics, and culture. The basic definitions of “class” have not been singular, but rather usually multiple, different, and contested, sometimes with great intensity. Indeed, the particular concept of class stressed in this chapter differs from those favored in several other chapters in this volume. The richness and diversity of class analyses applied to contemporary society and religion contradict today’s mainstream aversion to and superficial grasp of class analysis.

Keywords

Productive Laborer Real Wage Class Structure Religious Community Corporate Board 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    Stephen Resnick and Richard D. Wolff, Knowledge and Class: A Marxian Critique of Political Economy (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987), Chapter 3.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
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    A large literature has arisen that elaborates, extends, and applies Marx’s new definition of class. Much of that has appeared since 1988 in the pages of the scholarly quarterly, Rethinking Marxism (which publishes all other varieties of Marxian theory and analysis). A few representative volumes include Resnick and Wolff, Knowledge and Class; Stephen Resnick and Richard D. Wolff, Class Theory and History: Capitalism and Communism in the USSR (New York and London: Routledge, 2002);Google Scholar
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    An ever-expanding collection of resources concerned with those alternatives is available at www.democracyatwork.info. For substantial introductions to such alternative, noncapitalist production systems, see Richard D. Wolff, Democracy at Work: A Cure for Capitalism (Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2012);Google Scholar
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© Joerg Rieger 2013

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