Struggle and protest or passivity and control? The formation of class identity in two contemporary cultural practices

Casey, Emma (2010) Struggle and protest or passivity and control? The formation of class identity in two contemporary cultural practices. European Journal of Cultural Studies, 13(2), pp. 225-241. ISSN (print) 1367-5494

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Abstract

This paper draws on recent theoretical developments made within sociology, which have proposed new ways of looking at and understanding class. Drawing on two contemporary examples namely the Gambling Bill and the recent “riots” at Ikea, Edmonton in north London, the paper demonstrates some of the ways in which class operates subjectively within the practice of everyday life. Using these examples, I show how class continuously informs identity and how by looking at a range of contemporary cultural consumption practices, it is possible to gain a sense of how boundaries surrounding rights to middle class identity are constantly tightened and refined. By presenting a range of responses to these consumer practices I show how representations of the working class are often problematic and leave important questions about the everyday performance of class unanswered. The paper thus offers an alternative understanding of class to that which has often positioned the working class as either a dangerous, deviant mob, as romantic rebels or simply as victims of an oppressive capitalist state. It concludes by arguing in favour of a renewed sociology of class, and for ensuring that class features more prominently on the sociology of consumption agenda.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: class, consumption, gambling, gender, identity, Ikea
Research Area: Sociology
Faculty, School or Research Centre: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > School of Social Science (until November 2012)
Depositing User: Emma Casey
Date Deposited: 19 May 2009 15:13
Last Modified: 08 Oct 2010 14:52
URI: http://eprints.kingston.ac.uk/id/eprint/5462

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