New working class as a political subject

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The authors consider the new working class as consisting of both industrial workers and employed in the service sector. The article aims at identifying changes in the social-political status of the new working class and at describing the civil-political component of its political subjectivity. The authors attempt to theoretically reconstruct the idea of the working class as a political subject. The first part of the article presents conceptual approaches to the analysis of the working class as a political subject. The authors identify three periods: 1) classical works that laid the foundation for the study of the working class as a political subject and its special historical role; 2) studies of the marginal political status of the working class in Western countries, when leading theorists described the transformation of workers into an object of manipulation in the era of mass communications and the widespread consumerism ideology; 3) works of contemporary authors (including the new working class studies) opposing the policy of the traditional industrial working class and the new working class exclusion from the social-political space, which is pursued by the ruling class of the neoliberal international. The empirical part of the article describes the political subjectivity of the working class in Russia and its position in the political space at the institutional and individual levels. Despite the underrepresentation of workers in politics, since 2010, we have witnessed a return of the working class to the public space. The representative survey conducted in three regions of the Ural Federal District and narrative interviews prove a weak interest of the new working class youth in politics, their tendency of non-participation in it, and a high level of national patriotic identity.

About the authors

V. V. Gavrilyuk

Industrial University of Tyumen

Author for correspondence.
Volodarsky St., 38, Tyumen, 625003, Russia

V. V. Malenkov

Tyumen State University

Volodarsky St., 6, Tyumen, 625003, Russia


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Copyright (c) 2020 Gavrilyuk V.V., Malenkov V.V.

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