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Reconfigurations of Gender and Class Relations: Class Differences, Class Condescension and the Changing Place of Class Relations

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This paper addresses the question of class: its significance, construction, representation in official policies and the changing place and nature of class relations and struggles in contemporary Britain. It argues that both changes in women's labour market participation patterns and a new rhetoric of class condescension and symbolic violence have significant implications both for widening class divisions between women and for the nature of class contacts in contemporary cities. As ties of love and affection and mutual exchange that (purportedly) characterise the home are being transformed by the growing importance of the home as a locus of commodified domestic labour, the home is a new site of inter-class contact and conflict. Thus “private” households are increasingly becoming the sites of class struggle, adding strength to feminist arguments about the inextricable connections between class and gender relations.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: School of Geography, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK;, Email:

Publication date: September 1, 2006


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