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A Nation of Shopkeepers: The Unstoppable Rise of the Petite Bourgeoisie

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e., own-account workers without employees, who comprise the absolute majority of the total self-employed. We are somewhat (though certainly awkwardly) aware that loud Leftists, despite all the tough talk, do not tend to be good workplace organisers.

He dubs the idea of a generational divide pitting selfish boomers against a young precariat a new ‘socialism of fools’. Maybe this is something seen as already debated on left Twitter or elsewhere, but as I haven't read many similar books or engaged with many debates on left Twitter, to me it felt like ignoring other factors that impact the modern impressions of not only class itself, but also the key areas covered in the book like education, housing, and social mobility. Class is all too often viewed in solely cultural and aesthetic terms, such as having a regional accent or having a great-grandparent who worked in a mine.

And it has personality, with Dan Evans weaving in his own experiences and generally departing from the convention that seems to exist where books engaging with the sociology of class must be unreadably dense and leave most readers feeling too stupid for the subject OR be dumbed down to the point where you doubt the author's credibility.

Evans’ superficial account of left-wing attitudes to the referendum is reflective of his wider approach to questions of class and identity. He gives the example of Guardian investigative journalist Helen Pidd travelling to Leigh, a northern brick in the red wall, to interview a ‘working class’ Tory artisan who owned several pizza restaurants. It is through this anger and envy that the NPB is clearly distinct from the working class – poor kids never expected to own a house or have a fancy job, but the NPB was told they would get the comfortable life, but now they will have to wait until their parents die to inherit the house. In the preface, Evans admits to having always been confused by his own class position, which lay somewhere between ‘working’ and ‘middle’. Both sides had a point, but it highlighted the collective left’s unease about class and a wider cultural rift in British society.The ‘sinister’ instrumentalisation of an implicitly white ‘working-class identity’ by the likes of Blue Labour was, Evans stresses, an act of ‘ventriloquism’ (p. For those serious about making sense of class and the potential for transforming society today, Daniel Evans’ book makes an important contribution.

When Evans goes so far as to say that the working class’s rejection of the left ‘is an entirely rational one’, (p. Conclusion: neither nationalisation nor small businesses, but Industrial Unionism and workers control! The only way [for the left] to win’, he argues, ‘is by building class alliances between the petty bourgeoisie and the working class’. The Network was a way to bring these atomised workers together into an Industrial Union to develop common demands that would make work-life better for them all.One class reductionist framework is that in which class is fundamentally determinant at the structural level (meaning that we can identify the objective structural antagonisms at the level of class - the point of production), whilst acknowledging that political interests may not map along class lines. In seeking expansion into the capitalist class whilst simultaneously fearing falling into the same plight as workers if their sm The bulk of the book looks at how neoliberalism has produced a New Petite Bourgeoisie (NPB) in the ‘developed’ world. A symbol for the ‘left behind’ working class who voted for Brexit, this was in reality a much broader social constituency. In recent years, it's seemed like a lot of nonfiction gets published on 'progressive' topics that might be good for the author's career, but doesn't make that much of a contribution to knowledge.

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