Middle class as objectifying ideologeme


The article is devoted to the study of the middle class as social community and analyses the role of ideological discourse in shaping construct of middle class. It notes that different concepts of middle class carry out “social engineering” function to form social community “middle class”, just as working class turned from “class-in-itself” into “class for-itself” first of all under the influence of socialist ideologies (in this sense the author regards middle class as “objectifying ideologeme”). Social conception can be a class forming factor, if it is transformed into ideological conception and “drops down” on the level of “everyday ideology’ and social mythology. In the formation of construct of middle class (and its positive image) in the mass conscious such mythologemes about its characteristics and social functions played a role: mythologemes of “middleness”, “moderation”, “democracy”, “normativity”, “constructiveness “, and “progressivity”. The results of the research suggest that the characteristics of middle class, presented in the mass consciousness, are generally consistent with stereotypes, formed within liberal ideological conceptions, under which the representatives of middle class should be different from the representatives of low class by a higher level of social activity and by a higher level of internalization of democratic values. But these stereotypes are countered  by the fact that in realities of Ukraine the representatives of “the core” of middle class are involved more often than the representatives of low class in corrupt practices. This confirms existence of “corruption subculture” in the Ukrainian society which covers also middle class. The author concludes that in the behavioural practices, and in the group consciousness of the representatives of middle class contradictory trends exist, which reflects the contradictions of the development of modern Ukrainian society. And each of these trends has a chance of being realized, that will determine in the near future social face of middle class and its role in the social changes in Ukraine.

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