Historically and politically, the petit-bourgeois is the key to the century.... The bourgeois and proletariat classes have become abstractions: the petite-bourgeoisie, in contrast, is everywhere, you can see it everywhere, even in the areas of the bourgeois and the proletariat, what's left of them.
Roland Barthes (1915–1980), French semiologist. repr. in Discourses: Conversations in Postmodern Art and Culture, eds. Russell Ferguson et al. (1990). interview by Bernard-Henri Lévy, Art and Text, no. 8 (1977).