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Middle Class: An Intellectual History through Social Sciences
An American Fetish from its Origins to Globalization

According to Matteo Battistini, The 'middle class' has become a fetish forged by the social sciences to legitimize American capitalism. In this invaluable monograph, Battistini traces the intellectual history of the middle class, and offers a social history of the political concept, whose specific scientific content has acquired an ideological centrality in the U.S. that has no equal in European history. Middle Class argues that the social sciences have freed the middle class from its historical relationship with work in an attempt to emancipate it from the tension into which it was continually dragged by class conflict. In the process, the social sciences overtun the image of opposing forces of labour and capital, replacing it with an image of a consensual order whereby capitalism and democracy can coexist without tensions.

Originally published as Storia di un feticcio. La classe media americana dalle origini alla globalizzazione, by Mimesis, Milan, Italy, 2020.