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class consciousness

awareness of one's own social or economic rank in society.
a feeling of identification and solidarity with those belonging to the same social or economic class as oneself.
Origin of class consciousness
Related forms
[klas-kon-shuh s, klahs-] /ˈklæsˈkɒn ʃəs, ˈklɑs-/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for class-consciousness
Historical Examples
  • That class-consciousness, which was peculiarly sensitive in him, invested his friendship with the Baron with a special interest.

    August Strindberg, the Spirit of Revolt L. (Lizzy) Lind-af-Hageby
  • "You're stealing my class-consciousness from me," he called from the gate way.

    Thirty Howard Vincent O'Brien
  • Personality and class-consciousness, coupled with a humor that appealed to his victims, made the task easy.

    The Gay Adventure Richard Bird
  • President Roosevelt himself has declared that class-consciousness is a foul and evil thing.

    Labor and Freedom Eugene V. Debs
  • class-consciousness points out the necessity for working-class action, economic and political.

    Labor and Freedom Eugene V. Debs
  • Not merely had he acquired the class-consciousness of the working-man, he had acquired the money-consciousness as well.

    King Coal Upton Sinclair
  • The idea of the general strike keeps alive and fortifies in the workingmen their class-consciousness and revolutionary feelings.

    Syndicalism in France Louis Levine
  • But solidarity there is, whatever the price; and a class-consciousness, a brotherhood: they call each other "Comrades."

  • Fithian's Journal reveals, however, that class-consciousness was not yet apparent in the division of labor on this frontier.

  • With the growth of this class-consciousness this conflict of interests must inevitably become a political class struggle.

    Socialism: Positive and Negative Robert Rives La Monte
class-consciousness in Culture

class consciousness definition

Identification with other members of one's own class and awareness of its relationship with other classes. According to Marxist theory, the proletariat will assume class consciousness when workers realize that they are being exploited by the bourgeoisie; then a proletarian revolution will be inevitable. Contrary to this theory, however, the American working class is primarily socially conservative.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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