Class in the New Millennium: The Structure, Homologies and Experience of the British Social Space, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Class in the New Millennium

The Structure, Homologies and Experience of the British Social Space, 1st Edition

By Will Atkinson


216 pages | 27 B/W Illus.

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Class in the New Millennium paints a fresh and comprehensive picture of social class in Britain today. Anchored in a broad repertoire of methods and pursuing a distinctive theoretical agenda, it not only painstakingly maps the structure, transformation and effects of the UK’s key fault lines but goes behind closed doors to see how they play out in everyday family life.

Throughout the book Atkinson throws new light on a diverse array of themes, including: the continued effects of deindustrialisation, educational expansion, feminisation of the workforce and surging employment insecurity; the persistence of lifestyle cleavages despite cultural and technological change; the growth of political disengagement, the transformation of the Labour Party and the rise of nationalism; the entwinement of class with space, place and physical movement; and the way in which class interacts with intimate relations to shape not just the way we decorate our walls or talk over the dining table but the very reproduction of the class structure itself.

This innovative title will appeal to scholars as well as advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students interested in the fields of sociology, politics and political science, cultural studies, cultural geography, social policy and social work.


This book is essential reading for all those concerned about the state of social class in Britain. It builds on the work of Pierre Bourdieu to paint a nuanced and sophisticated picture of class in the new millennium. Richly theorised and beautifully written, it combines intensive ethnographic analyses with powerful conceptual insights which deepen and enrich readers' understandings of class structure, effects and place in the UK today.

Diane Reay, Professor of Education at Cambridge University, UK.

The vision of class captured by Will Atkinson in this book advances in an essential way our understanding of how everyday life is constituted of multidimensional structures of differentiation. The significance and interrelation of national, local and domestic spaces are presented via attentive exploration of rich data from the Ordinary Lives Project. The wealth of skilfully produced empirical material is particularly well used in the attention to the subtle drama about possible futures entailed in expectations of class mobility.

Elizabeth B. Silva, Professor of Sociology, The Open University, UK

Based on extensive and finely analysed evidence, Atkinson takes a further impressive step in consolidating his distinctive sociological interpretation of the effects of class on the reproduction of British culture.

Alan Warde, Professor of Sociology, School of Social Sciences, University of Manchester, UK

En définitive, Class in the new millenium est un ouvrage riche et engageant qui offre une cartographie détaillée de la société britannique, tant à l’échelle nationale que locale.

Adrien Quièvre, « Will Atkinson, Class in the New Millenium », Lectures [En ligne], Les comptes rendus, 2018, mis en ligne le 13 mars 2018, consulté le 14 mars 2018. URL :

Table of Contents

List of tables and figures Acknowledgements Chapter 1. Introduction Part I: Field Analysis: The British Social Space and its Homologies Chapter 2. The Social Space and its Transformations Chapter 3. The Space of Lifestyles Chapter 4. The Space of Political Position-Takings Part II: Lifeworld Analysis: Class, Place, Family Chapter 5. National Space, Urban Space Chapter 6. Local Space Chapter 7. Domestic Space I: Decor and Regionalisation Chapter 8. Domestic Space II: The Spatio-Temporal Articulation of Fields Chapter 9. Love and Social Reproduction Chapter 10. Conclusion Appendices References Index

About the Author

Will Atkinson is Reader in Sociology in the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies at the University of Bristol, UK.

About the Series

Routledge Advances in Sociology

This series presents cutting-edge developments and debates within the field of sociology. It provides a broad range of case studies and the latest theoretical perspectives, while covering a variety of topics, theories and issues from around the world. It is not confined to any particular school of thought.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General