By Jeffrey C. Alexander (Ed.), Paul Colomy (Ed.)
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Extra resources for Differentiation Theory and Social Change: Comparative and Historical Perspectives
Concentration on national politics tends to obscure a due recognition of those struggles not concerned with the state, or which are concerned with the state only obliquely. 28 Diversity of working-class politics At the local. everyday, level there remains a much greater diversity of struggle. It is indeed at the local level that these forms of politics are rooted, for reasons to be elaborated on in the next chapter. The relationships between these different types of struggle are extremely complex, and will be explored in detail inthe rest of this book.
One might suppose that this should lead to economistic politics, since Sheffield workers were in the best overall position to buy services on the market. And what are we to make of Reading, where wages were low and cost of living extremely high, yet where no demands were made for statist provision? These figures do not of course prove everything (in particular they do not allow for the quality of houses for rent though they do take into account 38 Diversity of working-class politics Table 2 . 1 .
Several commentators have discussed the rise of a 'self-service' economy, in which large sections of the population perform much of their own servicing, through purchase of certain goods such as washing machines and cars which might appear to reduce their dependence on bought services (and hence indirectly on the labour market). Since this depends on purchasing expensive capital equipment and on replacing, repairing and buying routine goods for them it is by no means certain that this will occur.