Class system study goes under spotlight


5.30-7.30pm, 8 November, Manchester Business School

A study of social class, which made headlines around the world this year, is to be the subject of a debate taking place at Manchester Business School on 8 November.

The Great British Class Survey, led by MBS’ acting Head, Professor Fiona Devine, Mike Savage from the London School of Economics and BBC Lab UK, asked a BBC audience to complete a unique web survey on different dimensions of class.

A new way of measurement was devised, which didn’t define class just by a person’s job, but by different kinds of economic, cultural and social capitals that people possess – including income, the value of their home and savings, cultural interests and activities and the number and status of people they know.

More than 360,000 people completed the survey making it one of the largest ever studies of class in Great Britain. The results identified a new model of class with seven classes ranging from the Elite at the top to a ‘Precariat’ at the bottom.

Over 6.9 million people have since used the BBC’s class calculator to identify their own class.

The debates will discuss the issues of class and inequality brought up by the Great British Class Survey and its implications on British social class in 2013 and beyond.

Speakers include:

  • Fiona Devine from Manchester Business School, The University of Manchester
  • Mike Savage from the London School of Economics
  • Neil McInroy from the Centre for Local Economic Strategies
  • Mike Orwell, Producer at BBC Knowledge and Learning
  • James Plunkett, Director of Policy at the Resolution Foundation

The event takes place as part of the Economic and Social Research Council’s (ESRC) Festival of Social Science and will be followed by a reception, supported by CRESC: The ESRC Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change (CRESC)

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