Class and politics in Denmark. Are Both Old and New Politics Structured by Class?

Gitte Sommer Harrits, Annick Prieur, Jakob Skjott-Larsen, Lennart Rosenlund

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The trend within studies of voting and political attitudes has been to give less attention to class as a structuring dimension and more to postmaterial values. The basic argument of this article is that this is a false opposition: The adherence to different sets of values is related to social background, although in complex ways, which can only be discovered with a multidimensional conception of class. This conception may be found in Pierre Bourdieu's analytical approach, which is here applied in an analysis of survey data from the Danish city of Aalborg. Data from a survey of political attitudes are subjected to multiple correspondence analysis (MCA), which reveals a pattern of attitudes that is highly structured by both the old and the new dimensions of politics. Up to this point, the results converge with the state of the art. However, the methodology utilised (MCA) allows one to link the constructed space of attitudes to a set of indicators based on a two-dimensional conception of social class. On the basis of this analysis, the article concludes that the political landscape appears as highly structured by the two principles of social differentiation from Bourdieu's class model: volume and composition of capital. The conclusion is that social class understood in this way is closely related to both old and new politics, as well as to the propensity to vote for a political party from the left- or right-wing alliance.
TidsskriftScandinavian Political Studies
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)1-27
Antal sider27
StatusUdgivet - 2010
Udgivet eksterntJa


  • Socialt arbejde og sociale forhold