Classic Readings in Race, Class, and Gender


First Edition • January 3, 2006 • 352 pages

Print ISBN: 9780813343303 • $50.00 USD$56.50 CAN

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The field of inequality emerged out of a set of classic texts—important works that students and scholars continue to read and to rely on to inform their ongoing research. Often controversial and deeply influential, these texts formed the field as we know it and serve as cornerstones even today. For the first time, these twenty calssic texts have no been brought together in a new reader, Inequality: Classic Readings in Race, Class, and Gender. Edited by David B. Grusky and Sonja Szelényi, this important new volume provides:

  •  A solid introduction to fundamental concepts, theories, and empirical results.
  •  Carefully excerpted pieces that highlight the essential contributions while maintaining ample context for informed, serious discussion.
  • A coherent selection of core readings appropriate for all inequality courses.

The collection is a natural starting point for all new students of inequality as well as a useful reference for advanced scholars who could benefit from easy access to the classics. When used in inequality courses, the selections provided here may be supplemented with contemporary articles and books, thus allowing teachers the convenience of relying on a single source that distills the must-reads with the flexibility of tailoring contemporary readings to a particular course focus.

David B. Grusky is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for the Study of Poverty and Inequality at Stanford University . His recent books include Inequality: Classic Readings in Race, Class, and Gender (Westview Press); Occupational Ghettos: The Worldwide Segregation of Women and MenMobility and Inequality: Frontiers of Research in Sociology and EconomicsPoverty and Inequality; and The Declining Significance of Gender? 

Szonja Szelényi has taught at Stanford University, The University of Wisconsin, and Cornell University. She is the author of Equality By Design.

1 Kingsley Davis and Wilbert E. Moore
Some Principles of Stratification

2 Melvin M. Tumin
Some Principles of Stratification: A Critical Analysis

3 Karl Marx
Classes in Capitalism and Pre-Capitalism

4 Max Weber
Class, Status, Party

5 Emile Durkheim
The Division of Labor in Society

6 Talcott Parsons
Equality and Inequality in Modern Society, or
Social Stratification Revisited

7 C. Wright Mills
The Power Elite

8 William Julius Wilson
Jobless Poverty: A New Form of Social
Dislocation in the Inner-City Ghetto

9 Douglas S. Massey and Nancy A. Denton
American Apartheid: Segregation and the Making of the Underclass

10 Edna Bonacich
A Theory of Ethnic Antagonism: The Split Labor Market

11 William Julius Wilson
The Declining Significance of Race:
Blacks and Changing American Institutions

12 Alejandro Portes and Robert D. Manning
The Immigrant Enclave: Theory and Empirical Examples

13 Heidi Hartmann
The Unhappy Marriage of Marxism and Feminism:
Towards a More Progressive Union

14 Barbara F. Reskin
Labor Markets as Queues: A Structural Approach to
Changing Occupational Sex Composition

15 Ralph H. Turner
Sponsored and Contest Mobility and the School System

16 Peter M. Blau and Otis Dudley Duncan,
with the Collaboration of Andrea Tyree
The Process of Stratification

17 William H. Sewell, Archibald O. Haller, and Alejandro Portes
The Educational and Early Occupational Attainment Process

18 Pierre Bourdieu
Cultural Reproduction and Social Reproduction

19 Thorstein Veblen
The Theory of the Leisure Class

20 Pierre Bourdieu
Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste


“The title says it all. This volume assembles to classics that all stratification students should read before they delve into the many excellent contemporary empirical studies. We’ve needed a highly selected collection like this for a long time.”
Barbara Reskin
S. Frank Miyamoto Professor of Sociology, University of Washington

“Provides a magisterial introduction to the field…Students who read and absorb the insights from these classics will be well-prepared to understand and address the vexing issues of social stratification in the twenty-first century…An indispensable resource for students of inequality everywhere.”
Douglas S. Massey
Henry G. Bryant Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs, Princeton University

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