Knowing Your Place Uncategorized

How do we come to know our place?

This is the question Douglas Robertson asks in his recently published article Knowing Your Place: The Formation and Sustenance of Class-Based Place Identity. Robertson utilises Bourdieu’s theory of practice in an attempt to understand the role of place in the formation of class identities, using empirical data generated from studies in the Scottish city of Stirling. Here’s […]

Saving Face

Being taken seriously

If the land of confusion does exist, more likely than not it reserves a special place for the concept of serious. It’s common to hear people state their desire to be taken seriously – in life, in the workplace, in their social circles generally. It’s especially evident when people feel they are not being taken […]

Keeping Score Saving Face

Spilt Milk

People are fond of saying they don’t suffer from regret – ‘no regrets’ a badge of honour to put on public display, a statement of strength in the face of crisis and failure. The public denial of regret is a performance, designed to show the world that a person’s moral and emotional fortitude can stand […]

Knowing Your Place

Speed of the Sound of Loneliness

Often covered, never bettered, John Prine’s ‘Speed of the sound of loneliness’ carries an emotional weight that sets it well apart from the standard Stetson country set. Like most country songs, it’s about misery and heartache, but its take on the sensation of loneliness assures it the status of a modern standard. Not unusual for […]


The Location of Shame

A welcome tendency in recent research on social class is to place significance on the affective domain – as Hebson puts it, ‘feelings of guilt, fear and shame are now on the class agenda’. Numerous authors have explored the emotional lives of people working and studying in classed positions, echoing the earlier work of Sennet […]

Keeping Score

Happiness and the Politics of Envy

In an article entitled ‘Legislating for happiness’, Randeep Ramesh today argues that any decent public policy on well-being needs to understand that we are ’hardwired for envy’: “People measure their satisfaction by how well they do in relation to others, rather than on absolute levels of income. Success is not enough: we also want to […]