By Manuel Castells
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Additional resources for City, Class and Power
This growth in the importance of the collective means of consumption in the family budget (and above all in the working-class family) is in contradiction with the capitalist character of the production and management of these means of consumption, for, in general, the profit rate for capital invested in their production is lower than the mean level, at least to the extent that massive public financial intervention has not created conditions of profitability. Such a characteristic is not inherent; it is a historical fact and, consequently, varies according to the country, the context, the type of goods.
It is this that we have outlined in our analysis of the metropolitan region, it is this which tends to prove the ensemble of urban research we have cited throughout the text. If in the 'non-capitalist' countries there are similar urban forms, that does not weaken the analyses we have made. Our analyses can only be discussed in relation to themselves, by referring to the methods which have been used to demonstrate that metropolitan configurations are derived from specific laws regarding the conversion of capitalist social relationships.
Still, the contradictions an<~ the inequalities created by this process are of another order and it is in these that the new sources of social inequality produce specific effects on the class structure of advanced capitalism. 34 City, Class and Power Social Inequality and Class Power: New Contradictions and New Models of Change We have traced the general lines of the structural evolution of advanced capitalism by showing the new strategic role which has developed from the process of collective consumption.
City, Class and Power by Manuel Castells