potentially infinite scale without structural polarizations

The consequence of throwing out the category of class together with the logic of economism has not been to institute a new and more adequate model of analysis, but to abandon the field to the wilderness of stratification theory, for which, in Don Aitkin’s terms, class ‘is a concept of merely nominal value: it is simply the term used to subsume the manifold differences in occupation, income, prestige, residence, lifestyle and education that characterize a complex urban industrial society’. The implication of such a model is that these dimensions are quite disconnected from each other: that they are aggregated rather than structured, or that they form a continuous, indeterminate, and potentially infinite scale without structural polarizations, and therefore without any way of explaining consolidations of discrepant interests.” The very act of listing the ‘factors’ that make up social positionalities (age + gender + race + sexual orientation + …) assumes, as Judith Butler puts it, ‘their discrete, sequential coexistence along a horizontal axis that does not describe their convergences within a social field’. (102) John Forw Cultural Studies and Cultural Value