'We’ve never had it so good’: the ‘problem’ of the working class in devolved Scotland

Alex Law, Gerry Mooney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Class has become the social condition that dare not it speak its name in the devolved Scotland. This is despite the persistence of marked class divisions and structured inequalities within contemporary Scottish society. We critically examine the most empirically sophisticated and coherent analysis of social class in Scotland – that provided by ‘the Edinburgh school’ of social scientists, particularly their claim that Scotland is now a prosperous, ‘professional society’ where only a small but significant minority are trapped in poverty. This paper further considers the extent to which ‘devolution’, and the dominant representations to which it has given rise, serve to generate a series of other myths in which class is both devalued but simultaneously mobilized in the negative portrayal of some of the most disadvantaged sections of the working class. Against an emerging, home-grown view of ‘New Scotland’ as a prosperous ‘Smart, Successful Scotland’, poverty and wealth inequalities continue to be a necessary feature of the division of labour. In Scotland, as elsewhere, class remains the pivot-point around which much of social policy is encoded and enacted.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)523-542
Number of pages20
JournalCritical Social Policy
Volume26
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2006

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Great Britain
working class
poverty
society
distribution of wealth
division of labor
social scientist
social class
social factors
decentralization
persistence
myth
minority
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inequality
representation
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problem
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Cite this

Law, Alex; Mooney, Gerry / 'We’ve never had it so good’ : the ‘problem’ of the working class in devolved Scotland.

In: Critical Social Policy, Vol. 26, No. 3, 08.2006, p. 523-542.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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'We’ve never had it so good’ : the ‘problem’ of the working class in devolved Scotland. / Law, Alex; Mooney, Gerry.

In: Critical Social Policy, Vol. 26, No. 3, 08.2006, p. 523-542.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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