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The Case for a New Class Map1

Cornell UniversityStanford University

It is increasingly fashionable to claim that social classes are purely academic constructs that no longer provide much information about lifestyles, attitudes, and other individual‐level outcomes. The few available tests of this claim rely on stylized measures of social class that either group detailed occupations into a small number of “big classes” or reduce them to scores on vertical scales of prestige, socioeconomic status, or cultural or economic capital. We show that these conventional approaches understate the total effects of the site of production by failing to capitalize on the institutionalized social categories that develop at the detailed occupational level.