Barnes, T. & Cahill, D. (2013). Marxist class analysis: A living tradition in Australian scholarship. Journal of Australian Political Economy,70 48-69. Australia: School of Economics, University of Sydney.
The Marxist approach to class has long been criticised within the academy. Many scholars have suggested it is no longer relevant, if indeed, it ever was, for understanding contemporary economies and societies. This article examines the recent trajectory of class analysis in Australia within the context of such criticism and changes within the capitalist economy and society that some claim make Marxist class analysis redundant. The article contends that such critiques significantly misinterpret the Marxist conception of class and miss recent developments within Marxist class analysis which attempt to account for changes within the capitalist economy. Using an empirical study of class in Australian social science journals, the authors find indicative evidence of a fragmentation of scholarship, with small groups of researchers continuing to produce innovative ideas about class in a context in which class has declined as a source of debate and interaction, particularly among sociologists. The article concludes that Marxist class analysis remains a living tradition in Australian scholarship.
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