Over the last two decades, many social scientists have argued that the stable class politics of industrial capitalism is giving way to newer types of social and attitudinal cleavages. Some scholars have gone further to associate what they see as significant declines in the anchorings provided by class with the rise of new political movements, parties, and even politicians standing for office completely outside traditional party systems. Advances in class theory and statistical methods coupled with the availability of high quality data have led others to reexamine the issue. They have suggested that these arguments reflect a misreading of the empirical evidence and/or exaggerate the significance of these developments. We conclude that despite the absence of a clear consensus in the field, theories asserting a universal process of class dealignment are not supported.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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