A Critical Analysis of the Concept of the "New Working Class" in Contemporary French Social Thought

Russian Studies in Philosophy 18 (1):60-74 (1979)
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The concept of the "new working class" was advanced by French Left radical sociologists 15 years ago, at a time when the social consequences of the revolution in science and technology under the conditions of governmentally intertwined monopoly capitalism had not yet become sufficiently clear. Bourgeois ideology hastened to interpret the social changes within the world of hired labor as the "dissolving" of the working class, its loss of revolutionary consciousness, and its integration into industrial society. Against this background, the concept of the "new working class" stood out primarily because of its bearings on revolution: it asserted that the carrier of revolutionary ideas in the world today is precisely the working class, but not this class as a whole, only the portion of it associated with advanced branches of the economy. The concept of the "new working class" differed from the programs of the "New Left," with their spontaneous, emotional protest, in that it possessed a comprehensive, theoretical argumentum, reflecting both the changes in the economic and technological conditions of contemporary capitalism and the evolution of the social psychology of class consciousness



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