The question of how to incorporate women in class analysis and stratification research has been the topic of heated controversy in recent decades. Much of the debate has been about the conventional approach to research on social mobility and class analysis that assumes the family to be the unit of stratification and the family’s class position to be determined independently of women’s work position. Those defending the conventional view can show that research on the empirical validity of the conventional view provides partial support for it, and that its use in previous empirical research probably has not resulted in serious misrepresentations. In this article, I review the literature on these issues. I summarize the criticism and defense of the conventional view and review research that examines its empirical adequacy. This is followed by a discussion of alternative approaches to the determination of the family’s class position.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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