Of all the concepts used by sociologists for describing and explaining social relationships, social class is probably the most ambiguous, confusing and ill-defined. This is despite the fact that the development of sociology as an academic discipline has been intimately connected with class related issues. In this book, Richard Scase offers an introduction to the analysis of social class. Against a background of the failure of Soviet and East European state socialism he highlights the enduring importance of social class in Western capitalist society, which is characterized by relations of exploitation. He concludes that whilst Marxist categories continue to be invaluable, Marx's ideas for abolishing class must, towards the end of the 20th century, be seen to be utopian.