Postmodern views of class

Postmodern views of Social Class

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Postmodern views of social class take more notice of culture than traditional Marxist theory did. Postmodern views are quite difficult to generalise from but the underlying argument is that social classes in the UK are fragmenting, splitting up or at least changing. It is no longer clear where class boundaries lie.

For some postmodern writers this fragmentation is the consequce of globalisation, in which a new international group of workers migrates to the UK and changes the traditional class structures. The example of migrant workers from Eastern Europe could be used to show how the traditional working class are losing their jobs as a new cheaper group of workers is available for employment.

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Another group of postmodern sociologists argues that the blurring of the old class boundaries is due to the growth of consumer culture. Consumer culture makes it possible for individuals to pick and choose their own identities based on what they consume.

Society is increasingly based on conspicious consumption and lifestyle choices. Higher wages for many people mean more disposable income is available to buy and live the lifestyle that individuals want. Lyon (1994) suggested that the postmodern world is a consumer society. In the Postmodern view the expansion of popular culture results in the decline of traditional class cultures. Individuals can pick and mix from different styles of which were traditionally associated with one distinct social class. Football is a good example here. Once the sport of the working class, football has become a crucial part of popular culture, enjoyed by the masses of the UK, regardless of their class background.

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