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Civic Integration and Class Formation

David Lockwood
The British Journal of Sociology
Vol. 47, No. 3, Special Issue for Lockwood (Sep., 1996), pp. 531-550
DOI: 10.2307/591369
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/591369
Page Count: 20
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Civic Integration and Class Formation
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Abstract

The aim is to explore the usefulness of inverting the class analysis problematic, which starts from class structure and then asks under what conditions sociopolitical class formation occurs, and then how this in turn bears upon social cohesion. By contrast, the route followed here starts from the assumption that the institutional unity of citizenship, market and bureaucratic relations is central to social cohesion, and then concentrates on the questions of how inequalities of class and status affect the institutionalization of citizenship and thereby its integrative function. While its practice is heavily influenced by the structure of social inequality, citizenship can be seen to exert a force-field of its own. Four main types of 'civic stratification' are distinguished by reference to citizens' differing enjoyment of, and abilities to exercise, rights, their social categorization by the rights themselves and by their motivation to extend and enlarge them: namely, civic exclusion, civic gain and deficit, and civic expansion. Their consequences for social integration are then briefly discussed. One advantage of this approach is that it allows inequalities related to age, gender and ethnicity to be incorporated within the same explanatory scheme.

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