class consciousness


noun

  1. awareness of one’s own social or economic rank in society.
  2. a feeling of identification and solidarity with those belonging to the same social or economic class as oneself.

Identification with other members of one’s own class and awareness of its relationship with other classes. According to Marxist theory, the proletariat (see also proletariat) will assume class consciousness when workers realize that they are being exploited by the bourgeoisie; then a proletarian revolution will be inevitable. Contrary to this theory, however, the American working class is primarily socially conservative.

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