Caste, Class, and Social Change: An Institutionalist Perspective

When Gunnar Myrdal visited the United States in 1929, he was struck by the extremes of poverty and wealth that existed at the onset of the Great Depression and perplexed by the seeming lack of "class struggle" or "class consciousness" [Jackson 1990,63- 651. Addressing an audience in Geneva, Myrdal later remarked that "patriotic conservatism, capitalist Americanism, spiced with hate and contempt for 'European' subversive dogmas, are not only Main Street's petit bourgeois froth and triumph, but also the slum's compensation for a sad and wretched daily life" 11931, 205- 61. In this speech, Myrdal identified the almost "religious nature" with which Americans held the Constitution and Declaration of Independence and viewed this reverence as a "conservative force" that allowed the capitalist system to grow "almost without any restraint" [1931,205-6].

Publication Information
Article Title: Caste, Class, and Social Change: An Institutionalist Perspective
Journal: Journal of Economic Issues (Jun, 1992)
Vol. 26, pg. 553-560
Author(s): May, Ann Mari
Researcher Information
May, Ann Mari
May, Ann Mari
Professor of Economics
  • Gender and Higher Education
  • Macroeconomic Stabilization Policy
  • U.S. Economic History
  • Women and the Economy
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