Review of Jean L. Cohen, Class and Civil Society: The Limits of Marxian Critical Theory

Author: José Casanova

March 20, 1984

In a review of Jean L. Cohen’s Class and Civil Society: The Limits of Marxian Critical Theory, itself a review and critique of classical and Neo-Marxist theories on class, José Casanova mainly supports Cohen's argument that Marxism fails to properly address class, with the exception of her conclusion. Casanova agrees with Cohen that Marxism has struggled to explain the collapse of the proletariat in advanced capitalism. He also supports her view that Marxism's struggles represent a fundamental challenge to many of its central viewpoints. Both Cohen and Casanova harshly critique Marxism's inability to properly distinguish classes within civil society. However, Casanova also criticizes Cohen for failing to develop a strong stratification theory without running into the same dilemmas as Marx. This article was published in the Spring 1984 issue of Telos.

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