Conceptualising Class – Writing Lives

Conceptualising Class

Eton Boys and Local Lads, London 1936Photograph: Jimmy Sime/Hulton/Getty
Eton Boys and Local Lads, London 1936
Photograph: Jimmy Sime/Hulton/Getty

Class is the subject of considerable debate, whether it is defined as a social relationship, social identity or experience. This bibliography includes some of the most influential works in this field, as well as studies that introduce some of the key debates. Please contact Helen Rogers () to add to this list.



Alexander, Sally. ‘Women, Class and Sexual Differences in the 1830s and 1840s: Some Reflections on the Writing of a Feminist History. History Workshop Journal. 17 (1984): 125-49

Cannadine, David. Class in Britain. New Haven and London: Yale UP, 1998.

Charlesworth, Simon J. A Phenomenology of Working Class Experience Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1999

Charlesworth, Simon. ‘Bourdieu, Social Suffering and the Working Class ‘, in Bridget Fowler ed. Reading Bourdieu on Society and Culture. Blackwell, Oxford 2000.

Corfield, Penelope, ed. Language, History and Class. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1991

Day, Gary, Class. London: Routledge, 2001. (view inside )

Joyce, Patrick. Class: A Reader. Oxford: OUP, 1995.

Joyce, Patrick. Democratic Subjects: The Self and the Social in Nineteenth Century England, Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1994.

Kirk, John, Class, Culture and Social Change: On the Trail of the Working Class. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007. (Introduction )

Livesey, Ruth. ‘Class’ in Oxford Bibliographies Online: Victorian Literature. Juliet John, (ed.). Oxford. Oxford University Press, 2011

Rancière, Jacques.The Nights of Labor: the Workers’ Dream in Nineteenth‑Century France, Temple UP, Philadelphia, 1989/Proletarian Nights: The Workers Dream in Nineteenth-Century France. London: Verso, 2012.

Scott, Joan Wallach. “On Language, Gender, and Working Class History.” International Labor and Working Class History. 31.1 (1987): 1–13 and “Reply to Critics.”  International Labor and Working Class History. 32.3 (1987): 39–45.

Skeggs, Beverley. Class, Self, Culture. London: Routledge, 2004 (Google book available)

Stedman Jones, Gareth. Languages of Class: Studies in English Working Class History 1832-1982. Cambridge: CUP, 1983.

Steedman, Carolyn. Landscape for a Goodwoman: A Story of Two Lives. London: Virago, 1986.

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