Class, Self, Culture
Published October 23rd 2003 by Routledge – 232 pages
Class, Self, Culture puts class back on the map in a novel way by taking a new look at how class is made and given value through culture. It shows how different classes become attributed with value, enabling culture to be deployed as a resource and as a form of property, which has both use-value to the person and exchange-value in systems of symbolic and economic exchange.
The book shows how class has not disappeared, but is known and spoken in a myriad of different ways, always working through other categorisations of nation, race, gender and sexuality and across different sites: through popular culture, political rhetoric and academic theory. In particular attention is given to how new forms of personhood are being generated through mechanisms of giving value to culture, and how what we come to know and assume to be a 'self' is always a classed formation.
Analysing four processes: of inscription, institutionalisation, perspective-taking and exchange relationships, it challenges recent debates on reflexivity, risk, rational-action theory, individualisation and mobility, by showing how these are all reliant on fixing some people in place so that others can move.
'The book offers a selection of carefully written but comprehensive analyses and interpretations that demystify the notions of class, self and culture and contextualize their meanings in the contemporary moment.' - Autobiography Journal
1. Making Class: Inscription, Exchange, Value and Perspective 2. The Historical Production of Concepts of Class 3. Mobility and Individualism: Producing the Contemporary Bourgeois Self 4. The Subject of Value 5. Political Rhetorics of Class Difference 6. Moral Attribution in Popular Representations of Class 7. The Methods that make Classed Selves 8. Resourcing the Entitled Middle-Class Self 9. Class Relationships: Proximate Strangers, Fixing Femininity, Enabling Cosmopolitan Conclusion: Changing Perspectives
Beverley Skeggs is Professor of Sociology at The University of Manchester.