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1 September 2015


by Will Atkinson


Class is not only amongst the oldest, and most controversial, of all concepts in social science but a topic which has fascinated, amused, incensed and galvanised the general public too. But what exactly is a ‘class’? How do sociologists study and measure it, and how does it correspond to everyday understandings of social difference? Is it now dead or dying in today’s globalised and media-saturated world, or is it entering a new phase of significance on the world stage? This book seeks to explore these questions in an accessible and lively manner, taking readers through the key theoretical traditions in class research, the major controversies that have shaken the field and the continuing effects of class difference, class struggle and class inequality across a range of domains.


"In this book Will Atkinson offers a brilliant tour of class analysis, covering the core theoretical debates and also the key research areas of social mobility, education, health and politics. The book is also a powerful argument that Marxist and Nuffield-based approaches are losing ground to Bourdieusian perspectives which everyone interested in this key topic will need to engage with." - Mike Savage, The London School of Economics and Political Science

"Class is a major contribution to our understanding of the intricate and far-reaching workings of social class in contemporary society. Combining a panoramic overview with forensic scrutiny, this book is a must-read, not only for those trying to make sense of a contested concept, but for everyone interested in social and economic inequalities." - Diane Reay, University of Cambridge

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