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The Structure of the Upper Class: A Social Space Approach

Magne Flemmen
Sociology
Vol. 46, No. 6 (DECEMBER 2012), pp. 1039-1058
Published by: Sage Publications, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/43497338
Page Count: 20
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Abstract

This article seeks to identify the internal divisions within the 'upper class' of Norway, defined as comprising different types of property owners, top executives and business managers. Bourdieu's concepts of social space and forms of capital are applied to construct a social space of the Norwegian economic upper class by subjecting 12 indicators of capital to Multiple Correspondence Analysis. Central issues in the sociology of elites and upper classes are addressed, including the role of educational credentials in upper class reproduction, and the salience of divisions by social origin. The article reveals a maintained division between owners and employees (managers, executives, business professionals) in an age of 'financialisation'. Furthermore, the divisions established are related to the segmentation of the upper class by occupation and industry.

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