class formation and class composition

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Agent of the International's picture
Agent of the In...
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Mar 26 2014 16:57
class formation and class composition

What do they describe? I was reading some passages from Erik Olin Wright, and he distinguished 'class structure' from 'class formation'. The former referring to the relationship between classes, while the latter to 'organized collectivities' within classes. Is it like distinguishing between 'class-in-itself' and 'class-for-itself'?

Chilli Sauce's picture
Chilli Sauce
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Mar 26 2014 19:43

Well, it doesn't necessarily seem to agree with Wright, but I always understood class composition to be the way in which classes come together - so economic changes that turn peasants or artisans or whatever into proles. Or conversely, economic changes that turned skilled labour or professionals into precarious members of the working class.

I remember reading a couple of Aufheben articles that deal with class composition if you're looking to do some reading...