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Why does class matter?: Policy attitudes, mechanisms, and the case of the Nordic countries
Department of Sociology, 1020 E. Kirkwood Ave., Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405-7103, USA.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2010 (English)In: Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, ISSN 0276-5624, Vol. 28, no 2, 199-213 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In most democracies, classes tend to vary with respect to an array of attitudes and behaviours, and differences are large within a number of European polities. What mechanisms lie behind these differences? Do they relate primarily to individuals’ material interests, as assumed by traditional class theories, or instead, to socialization and self-selection factors? This paper seeks to extend theory and research through an analysis of mechanisms behind class differences in policy attitudes. Our focus is on the Nordic countries, where class differences are extensive and well-documented in past scholarship. We take advantage of high-quality European Social Survey data for Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden. Analyzing three policy arenas and the 9-category European Socio-economic Classification scheme (ESeC), we find evidence that class-related factors help to explain cleavages in attitudes. Comparisons with the more detailed, 103-category International Standard Classification of Occupation scheme (ISCO) suggest that these factors explain less “micro-class” occupational variation. Results shed new light on mechanisms behind class differences, and the empirical foundations of established class theories. These and other implications are discussed in the conclusion.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier Ltd , 2010. Vol. 28, no 2, 199-213 p.
Keyword [en]
Class cleavage, Mechanism, Policy attitudes, Nordic countries
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Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-34347DOI: 10.1016/j.rssm.2010.01.003ISI: 000208746000004OAI: diva2:320740
Available from: 2010-05-26 Created: 2010-05-26 Last updated: 2010-12-07Bibliographically approved

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