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Finding a Role?The United Kingdom 1970-1990$
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Brian Harrison

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199606122

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199606122.001.0001

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The Social Structure

The Social Structure

(p.125) Chapter 3 The Social Structure
Finding a Role?

Brian Harrison

Oxford University Press

In the 1970s and 1980s the social-class hierarchy in the UK continued to display its flexibility in the face of strongly meritocratic and even demotic pressures. This chapter discusses how surprisingly unaffected the monarchy's standing was in the face of apparent aristocratic decline. It then focuses on the middle-class capacity for sustained expansion through fragmentation and evangelism, before moving on to the painful transition made by the trade unions during these decades. Erosion at its upper boundary showed signs of shrinking the working class into what the Victorians would have called a ‘residuum’: a miscellaneous, unintegrated grouping of the deprived and the underprivileged to which social class categories could scarcely apply. The chapter then considers the ethnic minorities and their patterns of settlement.

Keywords:   monarchy, social class hierarchy, middle class expansion, fragmentation, evangelism, trade unions, ethnic minorities, settlement

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