Maison des Sciences Humaines
11, Porte des Sciences
L-4366 Esch-sur-Alzette / Belval
LISER Conference room - 1st floor MSH
The changing occupational class structure of big cities has been a major issue for at least 100 years. Is the population of these cities becoming more middle class, more working class, or more divided between a top and a bottom end? The answer has major social and political implications. This question has become more important in the last 40 years with the advent of de-industrialisation in many western cities and the rise of a post-industrial service based economy. I focus on the differences between three main ideas: the three P's of Professionalisation, Proletarianisation and social Polarisation. Although the idea of polarisation has become very popular in recent years I argue that the dominant trend in major western cities is towards professionalisation but with increasing income and wealth inequality. The talk will range across changes from pre-industrial to industrial and post-industrial society and touch on some of the evidence from cities across the world.
Chris Hamnett is Emeritus Professor of Human Geography at King’s College London. He is a leading British expert on housing wealth and inheritance and a leading researcher in the fields of social polarization, gentrification and housing. He has published over 130 articles in books and scholarly journals, including articles in Progress in Human Geography, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, Regional Studies, Urban Studies and Environment and Planning A. He has authored or co-authored a number of books including Cities, Housing and Profits (1989), Shrinking the State: the political underpinnings of privatization (1998) Winners and Losers: home ownership in modern Britain (1999), Unequal City: London in the global arena (2003) and with Tim Butler Ethnicity, Class and Aspiration: remaking London's New East End (2011).