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Class, power and inequality in rural areas: beyond social exclusion? [Keynote Address]

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Mark Shucksmith OBE


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As inequalities widen, social scientists may wish to return to researching the causes and experiences of inequality, poverty and injustice encountered in rural (and urban) areas of Europe. This paper reviews approaches to the study of poverty, inequality and social exclusion in rural areas and seeks to relate these to new directions in class analysis and to ideas of place and hyper-mobility. The paper draws in particular on Bourdieu's treatment of class, and the potential this offers for incorporating power-infused social constructions of place into the analysis of class formation in place, and thereby exploring the production and reproduction of inequality. While illustrating the argument with examples from rural England, the paper is primarily conceptual, suggesting a new research agenda on class and inequality in rural areas.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Shucksmith M

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: In Press

Conference Name: XXIV Congress of the European Society for Rural Sociology

Year of Conference: 2012