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David Lockwood

(b. 1929)


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(1929– )

British macrosociological theorist concerned with issues of social order and social conflict, Lockwood has also been a major influence on empirical studies of class, especially through The Blackcoated Worker (1958) and The Affluent Worker series (1968–9). However, his Solidarity and Schism (1992) best summarizes his abiding concerns with the problem of order. Throughout his career, Lockwood has been an astute critic of both Parsons's and Marx's sociology and has sought to combine the former's abstractions of value with the latter's abstractions of material circumstances. Thus both consensus and conflict theories of social order are rejected as being one-sided accounts. For Lockwood society cannot be conceived without recognizing both a degree of integration through common norms and an element of conflict arising from the allocation of scarce resources. The distinction he makes between social integration and system integration is crucial to his approach to the problem of order. Similarly, the distinctions he made in The Blackcoated Worker, concerning elements of the class situation of occupations and distinguishing between work situation, market situation and status situation, provided the model for British research on class for the next 30 years and remain influential today. Lockwood's unique contribution has been not simply to understand and use the ideas of the classical sociologists but to tease out what they left unsaid and to make explicit what their own writings left vague. He has combined this with a Weberian attention to historical detail.

Subjects: Sociology.


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