Middle Classes, De-Middledization and Stratified Societies: Observations of the Heterogeneity of Self-Employment
According to Collins (2013), technological displacement of middle-class labour is not much more than twenty years old whereas it took almost 200 years to destroy the working-class labour force. Therefore, none of the previous ways to compensate job losses will work effectively anymore in the future. Now the twenty-first century trajectory of technological development is likely to push the middle classes into redundancy.
This paper is about a sociology of middle classes in a theoretical discussion and empirically focussing at the occupational group of self-employed people. This category of the labour market as a whole was very much connected to ideas of a typical “middle” position. The paper wants to question this assumption theoretically and empirically by referring to the heterogeneity of self-employment, which may give proof for Collins’ thesis of an increased de-middledization.