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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
First recorded in 1885-90
Related forms
[klas-kon-shuh s, klahs-] /ˈklæsˈkɒn ʃəs, ˈklɑs-/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for class-conscious
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The numbers of class-conscious "proletarians" in the East might be very small.

    The New World of Islam Lothrop Stoddard
  • In some way the class-conscious workers would seize power, he prophesied, and inaugurate a new social state.

  • Sometimes he was moved to song, and unearthly fragments of "class-conscious we are" or "Proley Tarians, arise!"

    Huntingtower John Buchan
  • Here, as the demands show, "socialistic" in the most rigid and "class-conscious" partisan sense.

    And the Kaiser abdicates S. Miles Bouton
  • The class-conscious workingman knows that present industrial conditions compel woman to enter into competition with man.

    Woman and Socialism August Bebel
  • Two leagues of class-conscious capitalists have been formed for the purpose of carrying on their side of the struggle.

    War of the Classes Jack London
  • In the Trade Union movement which was spreading over the world, he believed he saw this development of class-conscious labour.

  • Its only requisite and available might is its sound, class-conscious, properly-constructed Industrial Union.

    The I.W.W. Paul Frederick Brissenden
  • But you won't be interested—a class-conscious proletarian like you.

    Jimmie Higgins Upton Sinclair
British Dictionary definitions for class-conscious


aware of belonging to a particular social rank or grade, esp in being hostile or proud because of class distinctions
Derived Forms
class-consciousness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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class-conscious 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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