Estonia – Highly Unequal but Classless? Cover Image

Estonia – Highly Unequal but Classless?
Estonia – Highly Unequal but Classless?

Author(s): Ellu Saar, Jelena Helemäe
Subject(s): Social Sciences
Published by: Rahvusvaheliste ja Sotsiaaluuringute Instituut ja Riigiteaduste Instituut
Keywords: class; class analysis; public class discourse; post-communist transformation; Estonia

Summary/Abstract: In this short essay, we try to assess the utility of class analyses for understanding the contemporary Estonian society. Erik Wright (2009) identifies three strands of class analysis: a stratification approach, a Weberian approach and a Marxist approach. We address the following questions: Which kind of class analysis is most present in Estonia today? Which is most needed? The main conclusion is that due to this marginalisation of class discourse, as well as the power of national/ethnic discourse and transitional culture, those most economically vulnerable were deprived of the cultural and discursive resources to resist the most the extreme market-oriented policies. The conditions for structuration of class relations were created, while the class and inequality discourse was marginalised.

  • Issue Year: IV/2012
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 49-58
  • Page Count: 10
  • Language: English