Precarious class positions in Spam City: youth, place and class in the ‘missing middle’

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter documents intergenerational classed practices of becoming and belonging in a suburban place, Ingleby Barwick, located within Teesside, a post-industrial region of North East England. Adopting a Bourdieusian approach, including concepts of habitus and field, it will discuss how belonging is earnt (or lost) through the assiduous self-mastery of aspirational and individualistic routines of class identity. It considers how people in a position and place ‘betwixt and between’ the middle and working classes mobilise precarious resources to ratify value, which they struggle to make ‘authentic’. Following the notion that ‘people beget place as place begets people’, the chapter critically considers the dominant role of the ideology of meritocracy in this co-production. Therefore, in subscribing to a meritocratic notion of class, wherein one can deservedly ‘make it’ to the new middle or an exalted working-class stratification through ‘choices’ of being, a moral place for moral people is co-created.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationYouth, Place and Theories of Belonging
EditorsSadia Habib, Michael R. M. Ward
Place of PublicationAbingdon
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9780203712412
ISBN (Print)9781138559622, 9780367726843
Publication statusPublished - 21 Aug 2019


Dive into the research topics of 'Precarious class positions in Spam City: youth, place and class in the ‘missing middle’'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this