This moving and challenging book by Simon Charlesworth deals with the personal consequences of poverty and class and the effects of growing up as part of a poor and stigmatized group. Charlesworth examines these themes by focussing on a particular town - Rotherham - in South Yorkshire, England, and using the personal testimony of disadvantaged people who live there, acquired through recorded interviews and conversations. He applies to these life stories the interpretative tools of philosophy and social theory, drawing in particular on the work of Pierre Bourdieu and Merleau-Ponty, in order to explore the social relations and experiences of a distinct but largely ignored social group. The culture described in this book is not unique to Rotherham and Charlesworth argues that the themes and problems identified in this book will be familiar to economically powerless and politically dispossessed people everywhere.
Acknowledgements; 1. Introduction: Dead Man's Town; 2. Introducing some concepts: practice, habitus, ethos, doxa, reflexivity; 3. Class and the objectifying subject: a reflexive sociology of class experience; 4. A landscape with figures?; 5. Understanding the barriers to articulation; 6. Necessity and being working class; 7. The culture of necessity and working class speech; Bibliography; Index.