class position

In a study of class consciousness among clerical workers (The Blackcoated Worker, 1958; 2nd edn., 1989), the British sociologist David Lockwood introduced an influential theory of ‘class position’, which distinguished the three component factors of market situation (‘the economic position narrowly conceived, consisting of source and size of income, degree of job-security, and opportunity for upward occupational mobility’); work situation (‘the set of social relationships in which the individual is involved at work by virtue of his position in the division of labour’); and, finally, status situation (‘the position of the individual in the hierarchy of prestige in the society at large’). It was the particular combination of experiences originating in these three spheres which, according to Lockwood, constituted the principal determinants of class consciousness among clerks. See also Goldthorpe class scheme.

Dictionary of sociology. 2013.

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