Students versus locals: Young adults' constructions of the working-class Other

M Holt, C Griffin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Following a review of the main approaches to the study of class in the social sciences, a critical/discursive approach is adopted to show how analysing an aspect of everyday life such as leisure and 'going out' can reveal the reproduction of dominant discourses about class. Forty-two middle-class young adults were taken on 'nights out'to bars and pubs and then interviewed later to generate group accounts of the people and places they encountered. An analysis of participants' talk about going out to bars and pubs is used to illustrate the ways in which class was constituted in their dialogue. Focusing on the distinction respondents made between students and locals we consider how working-class people are simultaneously rejected and desired and how a discourse of territoriality defines and reproduces class relations in commercial leisure spaces. We argue that social psychology has much to offer contemporary understandings of the ways in which social class is constituted and mobilized in everyday accounts of leisure and consumption, and discuss our analysis in the context of existing research. We end by considering the potential value of our distinctive method for the study of class relations in social psychology research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-267
Number of pages27
JournalBritish Journal of Social Psychology
Volume44
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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