David Lockwood on ‘The Research Plan of The Affluent Worker’

David Lockwood on ‘The Research Plan of The Affluent Worker’


One of the things I think that’s admired particularly,
is the plan of the research. I mean, how do you think that evolved, the
idea of choosing the extreme case? How do you think that evolved? Well, I suppose Popper’s influence, you know,
try and disprove something, so you take the most affluent workers you can find, and see
whether they’re turning middle class. And some time before, I’d written something
for Tom Bottomore on the … what was it called? ‘The New Working Class’, which said you should
look at the different levels, the economic relation and normative, if you wanted to spell
this out. That came out in The European Journal of Sociology,
in 1960, I think. So that provided some kind of framework, and
then we toyed around with it, and I think we produced one of these Lazarsfeld type,
you know, cross-classifications. I think so. And the idea of instrumentalism, you see,
I mean, John was quite interested in that, I think.

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