Dados n. 6 Rio de Janeiro 1969

Desenvolvimento Econômico e Estrutura de Classe

Soares, Glaúcio Ary Dillon


Starting from the redefinition of certain aspects of the classical social stratification theory, the author attempts to analyse in this paper the relations between economic development and class structure specifying the trends that the latter presents as to the occupational structure, the differences among nations and differences among states or provinces of a certain country. As to the occupational structure, based on the verification that the marxist approach allows no room for considering the middle class, the author gets to demonstrate the way in which the relative]y high percentage of non-manual occupations in the labor force is an important distinctive feature of the modem industrial societies. Those are characteristic middle class occupations, thus disconfirming the famous marxist polarization hypothesis. This tendency is confirmed by a. great number of recent articles and by data from five countries in which there occurs an expansion of the middle occupational strata as compared with the lower ones, from the tum of the· century on. Some other aspects must be brought about in connection with the occupational structure. The first one has to do with the fact that the premature burocratization escapes the pattern described, in that it is not due to structural changes. The second is the fact that the curvilinear tendency found in the US cannot be generalized on safe grounds by virtue of the insufficience of data for its comprobation in other developed countries. Finally, the decrease on the relative importance of the artisans, which tend to disappear as a relevant class in moat countries, both developed and developing ones. In the new industrialization, if the decline on the relative share of the artisan employment is not compensated for an increase on the relative share of the industrial employment, the population excess is either absorbed by the non-manual strata, or the opposite. In this case the population is thrown in underemployment or disemployment categories. The basic findings with respect to differences among nations have to do with the fact that the more developed nations are more able to support a larger middle class than the lesser developed ones. Whereas the relationships between economic development and class structure hold true for the several countries considered, they do show some variations. As to differences among provinces, the situation is altogether different from that at the intrational level. Many of the correlations found at the previous level do either disappear or invert. One possible explanation for such a. pattern is, according to the author, the differential migration, since in many countries internal migrations account for a considerable proportion of the urban population growth.

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Desenvolvimento Econômico e Estrutura de Classe