Ordinary Lives: Class, Reproduction and Everyday Practice in Contemporary Britain
Despite renewed interest in social class,very little is known about the meaning of class membership in twenty-first century Britain. This project aims to fill a growing gap in sociological research and political understanding by documenting the ways in which the deepest layers of everyday life are differentiated by social class. This includes: the use of space and time; daily routines and rhythms of life; geographical mobility; roles and activities in work and in the domestic sphere. The latter will cover the household division of labour, relations with children and schoolwork, leisure activities and mealtimes. To capture all this, the project will involve intensive study of some twenty family households in Bristol. The interest is in 'ordinary' representatives of the class structure rather than the most marginalised, so participants will be households in which at least one adult has full-time work and at least one child is living at home. Households will be contacted through a randomised mailout to selected areas in Bristol and suitable participants will be selected. The project will deploy an innovative mix of research methods, including qualitative time-diaries, observation, photographic methods and interviews, to document the most taken-for-granted elements of their routine everyday lives.