from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Classism describes prejudice or discrimination based on social origin or social position and is mainly directed against members of a "lower" social class . The classism theory differentiates, for example, between discrimination against workers ( working class ) and poor people ( poverty class ) . Classism presupposes class consciousness , but transforms it into today's social structures. Classism can be the basis or part of social movements , socio-political programs and / or secular, cultural or political ideologies .

Concept formation

"Racis [ia] m + Classis [i] m = Katrina" - graffito after Hurricane Katrina , New Orleans 2005

Klassismus is the German translation of the English term classism . Although class-related injustices were named in the USA by 1900 at the latest with the term classism , there seems to have been a new formation in the early 1970s. The term classism was then formed, similar to the term sexism, parallel to the term racism , in order to emphasize the view that discrimination is not only based on ethnic racism or on the basis of gender ( sexism ), but also on the basis of belonging to a certain social Class takes place.

According to the social scientist Bettina Roß, there is today a broad consensus that racism, sexism and classicism are "relations of domination that work together, that reinforce each other, that are similar, but never completely merge."


The theory of classism was largely developed by the American economist Chuck Barone . He distinguishes three levels of classicism:

Macro level
Institutionally conditioned oppression of one class by another, primarily by a particular political-economic system. In this area, for example , treatment classified as exploitation by individuals or groups falls due to work that is perceived as insufficiently paid. This also means that capitalism in itself is already classic, or that anti-classicism is necessarily anti-capitalist on this level.
Meso level
Suppression of a class at group level by building up negative prejudices against members of a "lower" class and the like. a. with the help of the mass media . Anti-classicism at this level therefore also includes the demand for a different media culture .
Micro level
Suppression at the individual level through individual attitudes, identities and interactions. In the USA there has been anti-classicism training for several years, analogous to anti-racism training, in order to overcome individual classical attitudes. Similar to this see: Everyday racism .

Theories of classism see the conflict between classes as the main contradiction in the sense of Marxism , discrimination based on gender or ethnicity as "secondary contradictions". Above all, they want to prevent the discussion about class discrimination against sexism and racism as forms of discrimination from fading into the background. The overlap of different forms of oppression, as formulated, for example, by intersectionality theory, is also emphasized.

The theory of classism has barely reached continental Europe and especially the German-speaking area. In the European discourse - especially with regard to the social inheritance of “class” - the terms types of capital , habitus and symbolic violence that coined Pierre Bourdieu play a role. These, in turn, are less common in the USA.

See also


German-language literature

  • Federal coordination school without racism - school with courage (ed.): Klassismus. Discrimination based on social origin. Special issue with articles by Jonas Engelmann, Rico Grimm, Ulrike Herrmann, Andreas Kemper, Sanem Kleff and Eberhard Seidel. Berlin 2017, ISBN 978-3-933247-70-4 ( online )
  • attacks. The feminist magazine. Specialized edition classicism. October 2014 link
  • Christian Baron , Britta Steinwachs: Lazy, naughty, bold. The discrimination against unemployment by BILD readers. (= Critical Sciences - Classism. Volume 1). Edition Assemblage, ISBN 978-3-942885-18-8 .
  • Torsten Bewernitz : The lack of factories. Critique of the concept of classism . Contribution to the Ad Hoc Group Classism - A Productive Approach to Analyzing Class Specific Exclusions? , 38th Congress of the German Society for Sociology , 2016 ( PDF ).
  • Leah Carola Czollek, Gudrun Perko , Heike Weinbach: Practical Guide Social Justice and Diversity. Beltz Juventa, 2012, ISBN 978-3-7799-2822-5 .
  • Owen Jones: Chicks. The demonization of the working class. (based on Great Britain). VAT Verlag André Thiele, 2012, ISBN 978-3-940884-79-4 . (Original: Chavs. The Demonization of the Working Class , see below)
  • Andreas Kemper , Heike Weinbach : Classicism. An introduction. Unrast Verlag, Münster 2009, ISBN 978-3-89771-467-0 .
  • Anja Meulenbelt : dividing lines. About sexism, racism and classism. Rowohlt, Reinbek near Hamburg 1988, ISBN 3-498-04316-1 .
  • Julia Roßhart : Anti / Classism in Everyday Feminist Movement: A Search for Traces , in: Roman Klarfeld, Dagmar Nöldge, Friedrike Mehl (eds.): Spurensicherung. Feminism in Action and Document, Berlin 2013
  • Julia Roßhart: Class differences in everyday feminist movement. Anti-classical interventions in the women's and lesbian movement of the 80s and 90s in the FRG. W_orten & meer GmbH, Berlin 2016, ISBN 978-3-945644-06-5
  • Heike Weinbach: Social Justice instead of Cold Culture. Alternatives to Discrimination Policy in the Federal Republic of Germany. Karl Dietz Verlag, Berlin 2006, ISBN 3-320-02911-8 ( PDF ).
  • Gabriele Winker , Nina Degele : Intersectionality. To analyze social inequalities. Transcript, Bielefeld 2009, ISBN 978-3-8376-1149-6 .
  • Hans-Günter Thien: Class Theories - The Last 50 Years ( PDF ).

English-language literature

  • Maurianne Adams, Warren J. Blumenfeld, Rosie Castaneda, Heather W. Hackman, Madeline L. Peters, Ximena Zuniga (Eds.): Readings for Diversity and Social Justice. An Anthology on Racism, Antisemitism, Heterosexism, Ableism, and Classism. Routledge, New York / London 2000, ISBN 0-415-92634-3 .
  • Marcia Hill, Esther D. Rothblum (Eds.): Classism and Feminist Therapy. Counting Costs. Harrington Park Press, New York 1996, ISBN 1-56023-092-4 .
  • Jacqueline S. Homan: Classism For Dimwits. Elf Books, 2008, ISBN 978-0-9815679-1-4 .
  • Bell Hooks : Where We Stand. Class Matters. Routledge, New York 2000, ISBN 0-415-92911-3 (PDF; 1.1 MB) .
  • Barbara Jensen: Reading Classes: On Culture and Classism in America, Cornell University Press, 2012
  • Owen Jones : Chavs. The Demonization of the Working Class. Verso, 2012, ISBN 978-1-84467-864-8 .
  • Betsy Leondar-Wright: Class Matters: Cross-Class Alliance Building for Middle Class Activists. New Society Publishers, Gabriola Island 2005, ISBN 0-86571-523-8 .
  • John Russo, Sherry Lee Linkon (Eds.): New Working-Class Studies. ILR Press, Ithaca 2005, ISBN 0-8014-8967-9 .
  • IM Shanklin: `` The Laborer and His Hire. '' The Neale Company, 1900

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b Chuck Barone: Classism , in: Robert E. Weir (Ed.): Class in America. An Encyclopedia , Greenwood Press 2007, ISBN 978-0-313-33719-2 , pp. 139f.
  2. Werner Obrecht: Ontological, social science and social work science systemism. A paradigm of social work. In: Silvia Staub-Bernasconi (Ed.): System theories in comparison. What do systems theories do for social work? Attempt a dialogue. 2005, p. 148.
  3. Bettina Roß: Migration, Gender and Citizenship , Politics and Gender, (= series: Politics and Gender, Volume 16), VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, ISBN 978-3-8100-4078-7 , p. 18
  4. ^ "On the macro level oppression is a matter of collectivity, of economic, social, political, and cultural / ideological institutions." Chuck Barone: Extending our analysis of class oppression: Bringing classism more full into the race & gender picture. P. 7 (PDF; 102 kB).
  5. “The primary institutional basis of classism is the economic system. Capitalism is structured on the basis of classes.” Chuck Barone: Extending our analysis of class oppression: Bringing classism more full into the race & gender picture. P. 11 (PDF; 102 kB).
  6. ^ "The micro level is a matter of individuality and identity, our attitudes and interactions with others". Chuck Barone: Extending our analysis of class oppression: Bringing classism more full into the race & gender picture. P. 9 (PDF; 102 kB).