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BIBU Talk 10.4.2019

BIBU Talk and workshop: Classes in Flux – The Ambivalences of Social Class in the 21st Century


Wednesday 10th of April, 2–5 pm
Faculty of Social Sciences, Tiedekuntasali (Unioninkatu 37) 

Has social class lost its importance with the weakening of working-class identity, or is it making a return thanks to growing inequalities?

Are we living in a class society? Social class is a key concept of social theory. Professor Mike Savage’s (London School of Economics) extensive theoretical and empirical work on social class make him a long-standing key figure in this field. This BIBU workshop builds on Professor Savage’s work and aims to establish a comparative view of social class transformations in the UK and Finland. The workshop is organized by the Tackling Biases and Bubbles in Participation consortium, which explores how economic restructuring and migration are transforming citizens and political participation.

Professor Savage’s talk will address the current transformations of social identities and classes. Has social class lost its importance with the weakening of working-class identity, or is it making a return thanks to growing inequalities? How do we understand the blurring of the working and middle classes? Can we still talk about the working class? What should we think of the middle class? Is there a particular middle-class experience, or are there divisions within the middle class and, if so, what are they? How do we understand the upper class and well-off groups in society? Finally, should we be talking about a new underclass?

Additionally, we will be analysing data from a national survey, which BIBU conducted last autumn. Ideally, our aim is to build a macro-micro link by identifying the winners and losers of economic restructuring and migration and interviewing these groups qualitatively. At the same time, we want to explore how social classes change. We are trying to understand what is happening to the working class, including, perhaps, the emergence of a marginalised workless class at the bottom of the income bracket, as well as the various experiences of the middle and upper classes. During the discussion, we will build a comparative view of the UK and Finland, countries that undoubtedly have similarities and differences with regard to social class.

Everyone is welcome to attend Mike Savage’s talk (2–3.30 pm), and all who are interested are also welcome to attend the BIBU workshop following the talk (3.30–5 pm).

Coffee served. Please, register here.





Anu Kantola
Konsortion johtaja
050 448 7273

Mirja Hämäläinen
050 380 5086

Isak Vento
050 448 8945