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Class, culture and capitalism: the new political sociology of Britain Current

citizenship , culture , democracy , identity , population and demographics



This project will analyse the forces of class, culture and capitalism that are reshaping our society to help understand where the momentum for politics is headed.

Our starting point is that much of the conventional wisdom about British society – and the centre ground of British politics – was forged in the mid-1990s but is now outdated. To update that story, we will explore the social, economic and cultural shifts that now provide the sources energy for politics to harness. The goal is to provoke fierce but informed debate about the character of British society; setting the weather for public discourse and forcing politicians of all sides to confront the reality of Britain today.

Project details

Drawing on a range of sociological and political perspectives, this project aims to set out the framework for understanding the new political sociology of Britain, with three dimensions:

  1. An understanding of the electorate – rooted in the nature of contemporary class and values, with insights into the coalitions and cleavages that now characterise voters.
  2. An understanding of society – drawing on the major economic, social and cultural forces that are shaping modern Britain and providing sources of political energy.
  3. An understanding of the dominant political challenges of the age – that reflect both sociological forces and contingent events, and require a new policy orientation.

The project will have a range of written outputs and events during 2011.