Two logics of collective action: theoretical notes on social class and organizational form

  • Offe C
  • Wiesenthal H
  • 172


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It is in this spirit and on the basis of these epistemological premises that we want to examine the hidden difference that is ignored by the prevailing practice of "coding" social reality by employing the concept of "interest group" (or "organized interest"). Our argument will try to provide theoretical evidence for the proposition that, just as much as economic concepts (of market, commodity, freedom of contract, supply and demand, as they are applied to both capital and labor) tend to deny (and even to block the cognitive access to) the reality of class, the political science concept of interest group (as the outgrowth of some classunspecific "logic of collective action”4 and a neutral form that can be filled equally by heterogeneous "interests") performs the same function of obscuring the category of social class by the intellectual practice of equating the unequal.

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  • C Offe

  • H Wiesenthal

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