Munich Personal RePEc Archive

End of Middle-Classes? Social Inequalities in Digital Age

Bögenhold, Dieter and Permana, Muhammad Yorga (2018): End of Middle-Classes? Social Inequalities in Digital Age. Published in: IfS Discussion Papers , Vol. 2018, No. 04 (7 June 2018): pp. 1-21.

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The paper is about a socioeconomics and sociology of middle classes in a theoretical discussion and empirically focussing at “middle class” segments of different European societies for the time period between 2003 and 2014. The argumentation is strongly embedded to Schumpeterian thought of evolutionary economics but it is tried to link discussion about “creative destruction” to digitalization and the evolution of stratified societies in Europe on international comparison. The paper attempts to question assumptions of growing inequality theoretically and empirically by referring to Collins’ thesis of an increased de-middledization. We argue that the ability of ICT innovations (i.e. digitalization) to perform specialized, routine, and predicted tasks better than human allows them to supress middle skilled labor, affect to the polarization of jobs, and finally lead to de-middledization.

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