Engaging with contemporary discussion surrounding the future of European trade unions, this book also addresses recent academic concerns about the continuing relevance of the class concept as an analytical tool. As a social movement, the trade union has always used the class principal to unite and defend workers and the diverse contributions to this volume enable the more accurate positioning of class discourse within both the debate about trade unions and wider sociological inquiry.
Contents: Introduction: modernization of trade unions and class analysis, Guy van Gyes; The crisis of union representation, Andrew J. Richards; The transformation of social classes: from “deproletarianization” to “individualization”?, Michael Vester; Class identity in contemporary Britain: the demise of collectivism?, Mike Savage; Social segregation in a working-class community: economic and social change in the South Wales coalfield, David Adamson; Labour market dualization and trade union involvement in Spain, Javier G. Polavieja; Union participation in The Netherlands: differences between traditional and “new” employees, Sjoerd Goslinga and Bert Klandermans; Models for industrial relations in the private service industries, Maurizio Ambrosini; Urban centredness as a source of variation in middle-class formation: evidence from North London, Tim Butler; Class, collective action and the countryside, Martin Phillips; Building again? trade unions and formalization in the British construction industry, Ian Roberts and Tim Strangleman; For-itself but not in-itself: class and democracy in post-communist Europe, David Ost; Can class still unite?: lessons from the American experience, Sherry Linkon and John Russo; Does class still unite? concluding remarks, Bert Klandermans; Bibliography.
About the Editor: Guy Van Gyes, HIVA - Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
Hans De Witte, HIVA - Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
Patrick Pasture, HIVA - Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
Reviews: 'Can Class Still Unite? certainly contains valuable insights into both the "death of class" debate and how people respond to structural change…this book contains a good overview of changes occurring in Europe and stimulates comparisons with Australian experiences of industrial and societal change. It provides useful material for those interested in the broad question of class and the problems of union renewal.' Journal of Industrial Relations
'The volume stresses the myth of previous unity and questions class as unity. It emphasises the contingent, relational nature of processes and outcomes of social formations and collective behaviour.' Industrial Relations Journal
'This is a valuable collection for people working on the broad topics of class, union and workplace organisation, providing some useful data for comparative analysis. A particular strength is the strong theoretical character exhibited in several chapters…the book's most remarkable feature is that, for all the diversity of contemporary societies and workplaces, it shows how unions and researchers face very similar challenges across a wide range of national settings. Can Class Still Unite? suggests some worthwhile avenues for responding to these challenges.' Labour & Industry
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