I wrote a great deal about tribes in 2006-2008, particularly the Arts & Humanities Tribe I grew up in. Along the way I described what I thought were other American tribes, such as Science & Technology or Government & Union. I think much of this is still useful, but not all of it has worn well. I do not think I will be updating it, but it will remain in the background of my thought in discussing class and tribes now. Some of you were around then and may recall it. I linked to the whole series when I did my countdown last year, but no need to now. I think it would be distracting to this topic, and you will have plenty of other rabbit holes to go down.
Scott Siskind has thoughts, and links to other attempts to identify attitude clusters, which I just posted about recently. I will include those again, farther down, but wanted to get newer information out first. Siskind recently encouraged conservatives (he is libertarian, very Gray Tribe) to start speaking in terms of class to improve their electoral appeal. For example, instead of the clumsy formulations of mainstream media, legacy media, elite media, or traditional media, all of which terms have some positive associations no matter how much conservatives rail about how terrible they are, he suggests "upper-class media," as these outlets defend that class and put energy into disparaging other classes. Makes sense. Upper Class Media. UCM. It's usually Marxists who come on the scene and declare that all this talk about racism, sexism, and homophobia are just disguises for class, but they have a solid point. It's just that the class they don't like is the bourgeoisie, which is us, so we don't listen attentively. (That has modified considerable in the last 100 years, BTW.)
Jonah Goldberg has recent thoughts, and references the work of others, including Siskind. There are the Pew Surveys that come out periodically which identify statistical clusters of belief. The last one was 2017 That is something I have not linked to before, so you may want to start there.
Charles Murray's belief is that the elite class is able to protect its interests and the flow of information so well that they are toxic to America, even though they are responsible for much of its prosperity.
I don't know that I will be attempting my own new synthesis - the world does not need that, even if I were miraculously spot-on - but I put these out first as possibilities to consider, which we can then discuss. I will be trying to see how the new political framing of Red Tribe, Blue Tribe, Gray Tribe interacts with this.
The previous links, mostly via Slate Star Codex
Siskind's summary of Michael Church's Ladder System of Class, which is good because the original link is now dead
He also summarises Mencius Moldbug's Castes of the United States, but that was short anyway.
Siskind also linked to a comment from Archdruid report in a thread about Kotkin, which I print in full here because the link is broken
> It so happens that you can determine a huge amount about the economic and social prospects of people in America today by asking one remarkably simple question: how do they get most of their income? Broadly speaking—there are exceptions, which I’ll get to in a moment—it’s from one of four sources: returns on investment, a monthly salary, an hourly wage, or a government welfare check. People who get most of their income from one of those four things have a great many interests in common, so much so that it’s meaningful to speak of the American people as divided into an investment class, a salary class, a wage class, and a welfare class.
An important note on the relative fortunes of the classes:
>Over the last half century or so, how have the four classes fared? The answer, of course, is that three of the four have remained roughly where they were.
> And the wage class? Over the last half century, the wage class has been destroyed.
> In 1966 an American family with one breadwinner working full time at an hourly wage could count on having a home, a car, three square meals a day, and the other ordinary necessities of life, with some left over for the occasional luxury. In 2016, an American family with one breadwinner working full time at an hourly wage is as likely as not to end up living on the street, and a vast number of people who would happily work full time even under those conditions can find only part-time or temporary work when they can find any jobs at all. The catastrophic impoverishment and immiseration of the American wage class is one of the most massive political facts of our time—and it’s also one of the most unmentionable. Next to nobody is willing to talk about it, or even admit that it happened.
Finally, his related essay Parable of the Talents, where the atheist decides Jesus had it right about success.