The current publication is a follow up and updated version of Social Class in Europe1, which was published in 2005 (Leiulfsrud, Bison & Jenberg 2005; hereafter LBJ). The aim of the first report was to promote class- and stratification research in European survey research in general, and the European Social Survey (ESS) in particular. Our goal now and then was also to encourage European researchers to use a broader range of class schemes and to present a guide on how to use these operationalizations or models. Finally, as a result of our project we are able to present an overview of each class scheme spanning the period 2002-2008, representing alternative pictures and interpretations of the European class structure. The 2005 publication was based upon class syntaxes already developed by Harry Ganzeboom, Ivano Bison and Håkon Leiulfsrud, or adjusted to be in line with the theoretical logic of some of the most promising class schemes used by social scientists today. This is, contrary to what is often taken for granted, not fixed class schemes, but ongoing work in terms of theoretical framework(s) and empirical operationalizations. The current book is primarily referring to class based upon individuals as units of analysis, but it is also including a family class analysis. For those interested in systematic and reliable comparative data analyses it is hardly a surprise that not only theory but also operationalizations really matters for our understanding of social change related to work and class relations, as well as alternative views of post industrial development. What is surprising, however, is the long lasting neglect among many researchers not to highlight the problems of operationalizing and adjusting data according to the same standards. When we initially started our work to adjust alternative class schemes to the ESS, the variables included in the data for ESS round 1 were mainly designed to operationalize the Erikson/Goldthorpe/Porocarero (also known as the EGP) class scheme. This lack of variables affected our ability to operationalize the other class schemes as we would have liked to. However, additional questions from Håkon Leiulfsrud and Erik Olin Wright which have been included from ESS round 2 onwards improved the situation considerably, and is the reason why we think that the operationalizations of the Wright class scheme are more robust from 2004 onwards. Even if we were aware of the work of David Rose with colleagues to develop a new European class and stratification scheme, and at the time exchanged ideas, syntaxes, etc., this new scheme was not included in our first report. After the official release and publication of the new European Socio-economic Classification (ESeC) it makes sense to extend the number of class schemes included in this report from four to five. Including the ESeC is not meant to be another contribution to assess the ESeC, but an addition that will allow for a more comprehensive and up to date comparison of a range of alternative class schemes. We believe that the new ESeC operationalization represents an advancement of previous versions of the EGP-scheme, particularly when it comes to classifying those in “intermediate”, “contradictory” or “mixed work contract relations”. This improvement is also a good example of taking the issues of empirical operationalization of class seriously in crossnational research (Rose & Harrison 2010). Instead of arguing in terms of the supremacy of one class scheme over another, we find it more productive to use the theoretical and empirical strength of each scheme according to the questions asked. Even if this may sound banal, it is still not one approach to social class, but supplementary models and theories that throw different light of how social inequality is produced and reproduced.

Social Class in Europe II. The European Social Survey 2002-2008

Bison, Ivano;
2010

Abstract

The current publication is a follow up and updated version of Social Class in Europe1, which was published in 2005 (Leiulfsrud, Bison & Jenberg 2005; hereafter LBJ). The aim of the first report was to promote class- and stratification research in European survey research in general, and the European Social Survey (ESS) in particular. Our goal now and then was also to encourage European researchers to use a broader range of class schemes and to present a guide on how to use these operationalizations or models. Finally, as a result of our project we are able to present an overview of each class scheme spanning the period 2002-2008, representing alternative pictures and interpretations of the European class structure. The 2005 publication was based upon class syntaxes already developed by Harry Ganzeboom, Ivano Bison and Håkon Leiulfsrud, or adjusted to be in line with the theoretical logic of some of the most promising class schemes used by social scientists today. This is, contrary to what is often taken for granted, not fixed class schemes, but ongoing work in terms of theoretical framework(s) and empirical operationalizations. The current book is primarily referring to class based upon individuals as units of analysis, but it is also including a family class analysis. For those interested in systematic and reliable comparative data analyses it is hardly a surprise that not only theory but also operationalizations really matters for our understanding of social change related to work and class relations, as well as alternative views of post industrial development. What is surprising, however, is the long lasting neglect among many researchers not to highlight the problems of operationalizing and adjusting data according to the same standards. When we initially started our work to adjust alternative class schemes to the ESS, the variables included in the data for ESS round 1 were mainly designed to operationalize the Erikson/Goldthorpe/Porocarero (also known as the EGP) class scheme. This lack of variables affected our ability to operationalize the other class schemes as we would have liked to. However, additional questions from Håkon Leiulfsrud and Erik Olin Wright which have been included from ESS round 2 onwards improved the situation considerably, and is the reason why we think that the operationalizations of the Wright class scheme are more robust from 2004 onwards. Even if we were aware of the work of David Rose with colleagues to develop a new European class and stratification scheme, and at the time exchanged ideas, syntaxes, etc., this new scheme was not included in our first report. After the official release and publication of the new European Socio-economic Classification (ESeC) it makes sense to extend the number of class schemes included in this report from four to five. Including the ESeC is not meant to be another contribution to assess the ESeC, but an addition that will allow for a more comprehensive and up to date comparison of a range of alternative class schemes. We believe that the new ESeC operationalization represents an advancement of previous versions of the EGP-scheme, particularly when it comes to classifying those in “intermediate”, “contradictory” or “mixed work contract relations”. This improvement is also a good example of taking the issues of empirical operationalization of class seriously in crossnational research (Rose & Harrison 2010). Instead of arguing in terms of the supremacy of one class scheme over another, we find it more productive to use the theoretical and empirical strength of each scheme according to the questions asked. Even if this may sound banal, it is still not one approach to social class, but supplementary models and theories that throw different light of how social inequality is produced and reproduced.
Trhondeim
NTNU Samfunnsforskning/NTNU Social Research Ltd.,
9788290217513
H., Leiulfsrud; Bison, Ivano; E., Solheim
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11572/84380
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