"Class" as metaphor on the unreflexive transformation of a concept into an object

Philosophy of the Social Sciences 25 (4):442-467 (1995)
Others consider them as conditions, positions, or roles assumed in society. Such theoretical uncertainty is followed by a similarly uncertain empirical classification. This confusion probably exists because classes are not ostensible objects but concepts, that is, culturally and mutually constructed cognitive schemas. In order to see classes, scientists have to agree about the culturally framed discourse to use. This has not yet happened. This seems to be the main cause of the endless conflict in the debate on social stratification. This article documents that "class," before becoming a scientific construct, was a "folk category." From ordinary language, "class" reached the social sciences, passing through the natural sciences.
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