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Face-to-Face: The Alienating Effects of Class, Status and Power Divisions

W. Peter Archibald
American Sociological Review
Vol. 41, No. 5 (Oct., 1976), pp. 819-837
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2094729
Page Count: 19
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Face-to-Face: The Alienating Effects of Class, Status and Power Divisions
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Abstract

The author presents a Marxian-oriented theory of micro-stratification phenomena as an alternative to exchange and expectation states theories. He begins by reviewing the evidence for four empirical generalizations concerning cross-class, status and power interaction which can be extrapolated from Marx's theory of alienation and then presents a theory of interpersonal threat to explain these generalizations and a number of exceptions to them. The theory is shown to have considerable independent empirical support and to be a more plausible explanation for cross-class and formal status interaction in work settings than exchange or expectation states theory. It is at least equally as plausible an explanation for class and formal status inequalities in non-work settings, but is less plausible for informal status structures. That class and formal status-based inequalities generalize beyond the work place supports a Marxian rather than a Pluralist model, but as yet there is little evidence that class consistently takes precedence over occupational, racial or ethnic status.

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