A divided working class? Planning and career perception in the service and working classes

Y. Li, F. Bechhofer, M. Anderson, L. Jamieson, D. McCrone, R. Stewart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The contrast between the service class and the working class is central to much class analysis. This structural distinction, based on differences in the employment relationship, is analytically powerful, has validity, and is not in question here.The working class, however, is not homogeneous in all respects. This paper focuses on a sizeable group within the working class who perceive themselves as having (or having had) a career. As well as having this perception, they exhibit a forward-looking perspective, both in the world of employment and with regard to more general planning. They demonstrate degrees of planning, in work and non-work areas, strikingly comparable to service class respondents, and significantly greater than working class respondents without career perceptions, They believe that they can achieve their plans and indeed some have done so successfully. This exercise of forethought is materially aided by this group's possession of rasher greater resources of various kinds than the rest of the working class. But this is by no means the whole story. The findings suggest strongly that a willingness to exercise or not to exercise forethought sharply distinguishes two groups within the working class, and may indicate a significant ann hitherto unreported cleavage worthy of further investigation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)617-636
Number of pages20
JournalWork, Employment And Society
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2002


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