Where did Class go, Why may it be returning?: A view from Sociology students

Canaan, Joyce E.
March 2013
Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies (JCEPS);Mar2013, Vol. 11 Issue 1, p27
Academic Journal
This paper explores students' seemingly puzzling engagement with what I call 'processes of classification'. Whilst most students on the Social Identities module I taught between 2005-2006 and 2008-2009 claimed that 'class didn't matter' to them, during 2009-2010 more students engaged with classificatory processes. Using the poststructuralist sociological and Marxist literatures, I suggest that as the former argues, student dis-identification with such processes occurred during the first four years I taught the module. Students' greater engagement with classificatory processes during 2009-2010 may indicate some ways that the deepening economic and political climate of polarisation separating the wealthy elite from all others was impacting student engagement with this aspect of their identities. I conclude by suggesting that in such a climate, Marxist and other progressive academics should seek to realise Mills' sociological imagination more fully.


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