Moving beyond the traditional dichotomies of social theory, Understanding Social Inequality brings the study of social stratification and inequality into the 21st century. Starting with the widely agreed "fact" that the world is becoming more unequal, this book pulls together the "identity of displacement" in sociology and the "spaces of flow" of geography to show how place has become an increasingly important focus for understanding new trends in social inequality. The book charts a path through current debates and issues that studies of social inequality cannot afford to ignore. Accessible and engagingly written, this book stimulates the "sociological imagination", prompting readers to link personal experiences and public issues.

Class Identity

Class identity
  • Introduction
  • Class interests
  • From class consciousness to class identity
  • The French connection – Bourdieu
  • Debating class identity
  • Identity and organization
  • Final thoughts


In 2005 a riot took place in Edmonton, North London. Nothing particularly surprising about that you might think. In 1976 the workers – mainly Asian women – at a photo lab called Grunwicks, also in North London, had gone on strike and had been locked out by the management. Every morning thousands of supporters got themselves up in time for a 7 a.m. mass picket and relations with the police proved frosty and led to inevitable confrontations (Dromey and Taylor, 1978). In 1985 there was a riot on a North London housing estate, Broadwater Farm in Tottenham, that led to the murder of a police constable for ...

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