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We didn’t know what we were eating tomorrow’: how class origin shapes the political outlook of Members of the Parliament in Britain

Bortun, Vladimir, Reeves, Aaron ORCID: 0000-0001-9114-965X and Friedman, Sam (2024) We didn’t know what we were eating tomorrow’: how class origin shapes the political outlook of Members of the Parliament in Britain. Political Studies. ISSN 0032-3217

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Identification Number: 10.1177/00323217241257006

Abstract

Most work in political science on class and political ideology is focussed on politicians’ class destination rather than class origins. Yet that is inconsistent with evidence in the case of the United Kingdom that the conditions of someone’s family upbringing do influence their politics. This article revisits the conceptualisation of class background in the current literature by redirecting attention to the sociological concept of class origin. We draw on in-depth interviews with 24 British Members of the Parliament to unpack how these political elites perceive their class background to have affected their political outlook and behaviour. Our results indicate that ‘class origin’ is more salient in the formation of Members of the Parliament’ political outlook than educational or occupational background. The manifestation of this political outlook is constrained, however, by party discipline. This tension in how British Members of the Parliament relate to their class origins has implications for how we think about the power of descriptive representation in politics.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://journals.sagepub.com/home/PSX
Additional Information: © 2024 The Author(s)
Divisions: Sociology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
J Political Science > JC Political theory
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2024 09:06
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2024 00:42
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/123869

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