Who Gets What?

Who Gets What? : Hardening of Class Inequality in the Late Twentieth Century

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Do classes still exist? Is the notion of class still central to analysing inequalities in industrial society today? In this forceful study, Westergaard's answer to both questions is a firm `yes'. Written from an undogmatic Marxist perspective, the book claims that class analysis remains basic for the understanding of economic conditions and opportunities. The author argues against views - both neo-Marxist and more conventional - that class analysis should focus on questions of `who does what?' rather than `who gets what?' He also examines the reasons for the fall of corporatism and the rise of 'free market' ideas. This discussion is then connected to a critical consideration of the changing nature of welfare provision and its limits, from the 1940s to the 1990s. The final part of the book is an extended critique of once-again fashionable contentions that class division is a thing of the past. Class inequalities have in fact hardened; and though popular political reactions defy prophecy, they do not fit a vision of `classless' politics for the future.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 216 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 25.4mm | 446g
  • Polity Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • references, author index, subject index
  • 0745601073
  • 9780745601076

Table of contents

Part I: Theoretical Preliminaries and the Changing Framework of Economic Policy. 1. Production, Distribution and Class Boundaries. 2. Corporatism as a New Economic Order? 3. From Tripartism to Free Marketeering. Part II: Public Policy and Distributive Inequality. 4. The Welfare State and Capitalist Distributive Logic. 5. Market-Tied Welfare Aims. 6. Welfare Aims Beyond the Market. Part III: Is Class Now Dead - Again? 7. Class Beclouded. 8. Power, Priviledge and Income Inequality. 9. Class-Confounding Inequalities? 10. Careers Versus Jobs. 11. Politics and Class.show more