New Analysis and Publications from the Great British Class Survey
Exactly two years ago, the release of our initial research from the GBCS, linked to the publication of the paper in Sociology and a keynote address at the British Sociological Association conference generated unprecedented public interest in the potential of digital resources to explore contemporary social class relations. More than 9 million people have now clicked on the BBC’s class calculator to find out which of the ‘new’ classes they are in, making this the most popular piece of digital sociology ever conducted.
The interest provoked by the GBCS generated extensive reflection, criticism and debate. Along with all our many collaborators the past two years has been an amazing roller coaster. We have addressed this huge interest by embarking on an extensive programme of additional research which will be published in the coming months and which we hope will continue to generate interest and excitement. This blog reports on this work so that anyone interested in reading more will know where to look in the coming months.
- Sociological Review: special issue on the GBCS
In May 2015, the Sociological Review will be publishing a special issue devoted to the GBCS. This will contain seven original articles reporting fresh research on the GBCS and a series of critical responses. The six papers written by the GBCS team are
Mike Savage, ‘From the “problematic of the proletariat” to a class analysis of “wealth elites”’
Fiona Devine and Helene Snee, ‘Doing the Great British Class Survey’
Sam Friedman, Daniel Laurison and Andrew Miles, ‘Breaking the ‘Class’ Ceiling? Social Mobility into Britain’s Elite Occupations’
Daniel Laurison, ‘The Right to Speak: Differences in Political Engagement among the British Elite’
Niall Cunningham (Manchester) with Mike Savage (LSE), ‘The Secret Garden? Elite Metropolitan Geographies in the Contemporary UK’
Paul Wakeling and Mike Savage, ‘Entry to elite positions and the stratification of higher education in Britain
2: Social Class in the 21st Century
Authors: Mike Savage, Niall Cunningham, Fiona Devine, Sam Friedman, Daniel Laurison, Lisa Mckenzie, Andrew Miles, Helene Snee and Paul Wakeling.
We have now submitted the manuscript for this Pelican book which is expected to be published in November. This broadens out from GBCS findings, includes material from additional qualitative I interviews and ethnography in order to offer an introductory overview of class today.
Introduction: The Great British Class Survey and the return of class today
Section 1: The history of social class
Chapter 1 Contesting class boundaries: Differentiating middle and working class.
Section 2: Capitals, Accumulation and social class
Chapter 2 Accumulating economic capital
Chapter 3 Highbrow and Emerging Cultural Capital
Chapter 4 Social Capital: networks and personal ties
Chapter 5 The new landscape of class: the interplay of economic, cultural and social capital
Section 3: Social mobility, education and location
Chapter 6 Climbing mountains: the social mobility expedition
Chapter 7 A tale of two campuses? Universities and meritocracy
Chapter 8 Class & Spatial Inequality in the UK
Section 4: The class divide in 21st Century Britain
Chapter 9 The View at The Top: Britain’s New ‘Ordinary’ Elite
Chapter 10 The Precarious Precariat: The visible, invisible people
Chapter 11 Class Consciousness and the New Snobbery.
Conclusion: The old new politics of class in the 21st century
3: Archiving of GBCS at the UK Data Archive
Led by Daniel Laurison, we have been working extensively on cleaning and organising the data for public release. Legal agreements with the BBC have now been reached and we are expecting an imminent release of the data in the next few weeks.
This intensive programme of research has now finished and we will no longer be focusing directly on the GBCS data in our future research. We are engaged on developing future strands of research linked to this work which include on social mobility (Sam Friedman and Daniel Laurison), on economic capital (Mike Savage and Daniel Laurison), on ‘new forms of snobbery’ (Sam Friedman and Mike Savage) and on elites. The LSE’s new International Inequalities Institute (III) which opens in May 2015 will be an important vehicle for future work on these (and other) issues. Those interested in the III may wish to attend the event on May 11th with Thomas Piketty.
Mike Savage, on behalf of the GBCS team.