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Class in the Modern World

Associated Skill: Biography/Autobiography

Seminar Questions

  1. What is ‘Class’ – a structure, a feeling, an experience?
  2. Is all history the history of class struggle?
  3. Is it time to say farewell to the working class?
  4. How does the production of space affect identities?

Primary Sources

Secondary Sources

  • Stuart Hall (1980), Race, articulation and societies structured in dominance. In: United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ed.) Sociological Theories: Race and Colonialism. Paris: UNESCO, 305–345.
  • Fernando Coronil (1996) 'Beyond Occidentalism: Toward Nonimperial Geohistorical Categories.' Cultural anthropology, Volume11, Issue1, pp. 51-87.
  • Linda McDowell, Sundari Anitha, Ruth Pearson, ‘Striking Narratives: class, gender and ethnicity in the ‘Great Grunwick Strike’, London, UK, 1976–1978’, Women's History Review, 23:4 (2014), pp. 595-619.
  • J. Lawrence, 'The British sense of class', review article, Journal of Contemporary History 35:2 (2000), pp. 307-18.

Background Reading



The ‘Making’ of the European Working Class

  • M. Steinberg, Fighting Words: Working-Class Formation, Collective Action and Discourse in early 19th-Century England (1999)
  • P. Joyce, Democratic Subjects, Parts I, II
  • J. Epstein, In Practice: Studies in the Language and Culture of Popular Politics (2003), pp. 1-56
  • R. Gagnier, Subjectivities: A History of Self-representation in Britain (1991)
  • J. Rancière, ‘The ‘Myth’ of the Artisan’, in S. Kaplan and C. Koepp (eds), Work in France (1986), pp. 317-334.
  • J. Rancière, The Nights of Labor: The Workers’ Dream in 19th-Century France, 'Introduction' by D. Reid.
  • D. Geary, ‘Working-Class Identities in Europe 1850-1914’, Australian Journal of Politics and History 45:1 (1999)
  • M. van der Linden, ‘Keeping Distance: Alf Lüdtke’s ‘Decentred’ Labour History’, International Review of Social History 40:2 (1995)
  • G. Eley, ‘Labor History and Social History: ‘Alltagsgeschichte’, Experience, Culture and the Politics of Everyday Life’, Journal of Modern History 61:1 (1989)
  • I. Katznelson and A. Zolberg (eds), Working-Class Formation: nineteenth century patterns in Western Europe and the United States (1986)
  • E. Hobsbawm, Worlds of Labour: further studies in the history of labour (1984)
  • M. Savage and A. Miles, The Remaking of the British Working Class 1840-1940 (1994)
  • J. Belchem and N. Kirk (eds), Languages of Labour (1997)
  • L. Berlanstein (ed.), Rethinking Labor History: Essays on Discourse and Class Analysis (1993)
  • Laura Schwartz, Class and Domestic Labour in the Suffrage Movement (Cambridge University Press, 2019).


  • Paul Hohenberg and Lynn Hollen Lees, The Making of Urban Europe, 1000-1994 (1995)
  • Andrew Lees, The City: A World History (2015)
  • Peter Clark (ed.). The Oxford Handbook of Cities in World History (2013)
  • Jürgen Osterhammel, The Transformation of the World: A Global History of the Nineteenth Century, trans. Patrick Camiller (2014), pp. 241-322.

The Production of Space and Urban Identities

  • Jen Jack Gieseking and William Mangold (eds.), The People, Place, and Space Reader (2014)
  • Henri Lefebvre, The Production of Space (1991)
  • Marshall Bermann, All that is Solid Melts into Air: The Experience of Modernity (1982)
  • David Harvey, ‘Spacetime and the World’ (2005) in Jen Jack Gieseking and William Mangold (eds.), The People, Place, and Space Reader (2014)
  • Saskia Sassen, The Global City: New York, London, Tokyo (1991)
  • Carl Nightingale, Segregation: A Global History of Divided Cities (2012)