Same, but different: Within London’s ‘static’ class structure and the missing antagonism
In this paper, we discuss (Manley, D., and R. Johnston. 2014. ‘London: A Dividing City, 2001–11?’ City 18 (6): 633–643) intervention into recent debates on London's contemporary class structure. We find that Manley and Johnston show evidence to support many of the claims we have previously made, providing further support against the argument that London has become increasingly a middle-class (Butler, T., C. Hamnett, and M. Ramsden. 2008. ‘Inward and Upward? Marking Out Social Class Change in London 1981–2001.’ Urban Studies 45 (2): 67–88) and/or professionalized (Hamnett, C. 2004. ‘Economic and Social Change and Inequality in Global Cities: The Case of London.’ The Greek Review of Social Research 113: 63–80) city. Yet Manley and Johnston's accounting of class change in London also requires critical consideration. We argue their description of London as static in terms of class change has to be read extremely carefully, since such descriptions can obscure the vast population shifts that have occurred in London over recent decades. We also question the extent to which a concern with class antagonism is absent from their intervention. In conclusion, we reflect on what recent talk of London's social class composition means for working-class politics.
Davidson, Mark and Wyly, Elvin, "Same, but different: Within London’s ‘static’ class structure and the missing antagonism" (2015). Geography. 108.