The service class as defined by the Oxford Dictionary of Sociology (Gordon Marshall, 1998) is; A term first used by the Austro-Marxist Karl Renner to describe employees in Government (Civil Servants), private economic service (Business administrators, managers, technical experts), and social services (distributors of welfare. Subsequently adopted by the by the British sociologist John H Goldthorpe, to describe those whose employment relationship is based on a code of service rather than a labour contract, and so involves trust as a key element with autonomy as its corollary. However it has always been difficult to classify the service class for Marxists, as unlike the proletariats they have skills and expertise. The service class categories how high level, non-manual workers (i.
e. managers and professionals such as doctors or lawyers) are perceived with regards to their class. Goldthorpes service class included the top level of the white-collar middle class. The service class has increased greatly in size and importance over the twentieth century compared to other white-collar services. Goldthorpes Intergenerational class mobility among men in England and Wales (1972) showed this, where 14% of fathers had occupied a service class position, nearly twice as many sons (27%) occupied the same positions. His table also said (A.
Giddens, Human Societies 1992) that 73% of those aged 35 and over in the service class had had first jobs in other classes, showing a high proportion of social mobility to be evident. This Nuffield study (Goldthorpe, Llewellyn and Payne) was contrary to previous studies, which had shown classes to be largely self-recruiting. The demand for highly qualified professionals has meant a great increase in upward social mobility, as sheer number needed to fill these positions has left the door open for movement within the classes. Galbraith thinks that the service class is the new dominant class. He speaks of how previously the land owners were the dominant group, however the rise of capitalism showed that those who owned the capital to be the dominant class, then with industrialisation capital became abundant and so skills and knowledge becomes the dominant resource. This gave rise to what was termed the managerial revolution, where the separation of ownership from control enables managers to command vast sums in return for their specialised knowledge.
In late eighteenth and early nineteenth century England there was a sort of moral ‘code’ of behavior and standards that are to be maintained by the middle and upper classes of society. Austen realistically mirrors this ‘code’ through the characters and plots of her novels while showing that social flexibility was narrow and class boundaries were strict. The topics of class stringency and social ...
The development of increasingly complex occupational hierarchies occurred in both manufacturing and services, and were accompanied by the rapid growth of higher education from the 1880 s (Devine, Social class in America and Britain, 1997) C Wright Mills stated that the old middle class is now in decline as the entrepreneurs are no longer able to compete with large corporations and their specialisation. The service class brings many problems for classification of location, Wright, gives a model where he states that the service class is in a contradictory class location between the bourgeoisie and the proletariats (also between the bourgeoisie and the petty bourgeoisie and between the petty bourgeoisie and the working class).
Bilton, Bonnett, Jones, Stanworth, Sheard and Webster (Introductory Sociology, 1989) think that non manual workers have been subject to a wholesale downgrading, where there boundary with the working class is actually broken. They note that in 1851 there were only around 60 000 clerks (mostly male) working in mainly professional settings (Banks, solicitors etc. ), but by 1981 there was 13 000 000 clerks and associated office, retail and personal service staff, who consisted of both male and female working particularly in large scale impersonal office blocks, on low pay and with little chance of a career, so to what extent can we say that this marginal middle class really that different from the working class Goldthorpe argues that they have not been proletarian ised, he sees them as constituting part of an intermediate class, in-between the service class and the working class. The upper class can be defined according to both Weber ian and Marxist approaches in accordance with the ownership of productive capital, and also distinctive culture and status hierarchy.
Brief Analysis Of Karl Marx's Views On The Relationship Between Social Change, Socioeconomic Class Structure And Ideology As James Farganis (1993) notes, Karl Marx "continues to be of interest... ." (p. 27) to many sociologists. According to Alan Swingewood (1991), "During the course of the 1840's and 1850's, Marxism emerged as the first sociological theory which identified scientific analysis ...
So where does the service class fit in The middle class is sometimes referred to as the service class (Social Class in Britain and America, Fiona Devine, 1997) however there are many different sectors within the middle classes and it is not possible to find a distinct economic, social and political similarities, divisions have to be made. Distinctions are made between the old entrepreneurial middle class and the new salaried middle class, or between managers and professionals (Devine, Social class in America and Britain, 1997).
Karl Renner stated that high level bureaucrats constituted a service class as they served their employers by controlling and regulating the processes of production. Goldthorpe (1982) predicted that the service class would be a conservative force, occupying privileged employment positions with favourable intrinsic and extrinsic rewards.
He argued that they would seek to use the superior resources that they posses in order to preserve their positions of relative social power and advantage for themselves and their children (Fiona Devine, Social Class in America and Britain, 1997).
Lash and Ury (1987) argued that the service class is tightly connected with the rise of the welfare state, hence these people would be concerned with the welfare services as well as other political activities on the left of the political spectrum. (feminist groups, environmental groups etc. ) (Devine, Social class in America and Britain, 1997).
The Department of Social Services provide a wide range of services to the elderly, the disabled, families in need, and to lone individuals in need of assistance in once again attaining their full potential. Most of these individuals have exhausted all other means of support and have no other choice but to rely on the programs offered by the Department of Social Services. The Department of Social ...
Ehrenreich and Ehrenreich (1979) noted the growth of the professional managerial class (PMC), they stated that the Pics main function is one of social control, so they are in opposition to capitalists with regards to issues such as ownership and control, and their interests are also in opposition to the working class, they become an independent reservoir of radicalism and through owning knowledge they own social power- power to manipulate as in the case of Harold Shipman, his profession meant he was given trust and power, or power to command extortionate fees, as with the top managers of this class. (Devine tells that Kristol (1972) and Moynihan (1979) see this class as a frustrated group is search of power and status in its own interests) Kristol (1972) and Moynihan’s (1979) view is backed up by the article included form the Guardian.
Here it says that Michael Jacksons (Channel 4 chief executive) pay rose by 42 000 in 2000, making it more than 500 000 overall, however it also states that he gets significantly less than other bosses in the commercial sector. So what is it that enables these service class managers to command such fees Knowledge. This section of the class, along with top lawyers or consultants has the power to command excessive fees because they are in a position to manipulate, due to the separation of ownership from control. Within Bureaucratic corporations the top managers are separated from their workers, having little contact, and so they have no social ties with either the working class or the capitalist class, they are a frustrated group in search of power and status. Bibliography Sociology Anthony Giddens- Oxford – 1993 Introductory Sociology Bilton, Bonnett, Jones, Stanworth, Sheard and Webster (Forward by Anthony Giddens) – London- 1989 Social Class in America and Britain Fiona Devine Edinburgh 1997 Oxford Dictionary of Sociology Gordon Marshall Oxford 1998 On The Service Class, its Formation and Future John Goldthorpe.