Glossary

Here is a list of some slightly technical terms that might help with clarity of communication. Terms that appear in a definition that are also defined are in italics. If you have suggested edits or additions please contact us.  

Capitalist class: the dominant class within capitalism whose power derives from their private ownership of the means of production and whose economic interests are informed by this position within the economy.  

Class: a term that refers to groups of people within society who are differentiated from other groups based on their economic position and associated interests.

Class conflict: the social tension that results from different and often competing interests in a class-divided economy.  

Classism: a form of social discrimination rooted in an economic system that is designed and structured to serve the interests of one (or more) class at the expense of another class (or classes).

Coordinator class: an intermediate class within capitalism, the dominant class within the old socialist systems, whose power derives from the ability to monopolise important information and decision-making authority - courtesy of the corporate division of labour - and whose economic interests are informed by this position within the economy.  

Corporate division of labour: a way of dividing up tasks within a workplace / economy that results in some jobs being more empowering than other jobs and that generates both economic hierarchy and class division.   

Economy: the social system that deals with the primary functions of production, allocation and consumption of goods and services.  

Individualised classism: the conscious or unconscious internalisation of institutionalised classism into a person's belief system.  

Institutionalised classism: the establishment of a set of economic arrangements that normalise classism.  

Private ownership of the means of production: an arrangement facilitated by law that allows people to buy land, workplaces, technology, etc. for the purpose of generating more wealth for themselves in the form of profit.  

Rigged economics: an economy that is designed and structured by elites to serve their class interests, thus resulting in institutionalised classism. 

Working class: the subordinate class in both capitalist and old socialist economies - due to the economic structures in place (see private ownership of the means of production and corporate division of labour) - whose economic interests are informed by this position and whose only source of class power resides within solidarity and collective action - hence the formation of trade unions and the threat or use of strikes, for example.