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The University of Southampton
Economic, Social and Political Sciences

Citizenship and social class in the 21st century

Published: 10 March 2008 Origin:  Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology

On 21st February Professor Mike Savage gave the 24th T.H.Marshall lecture in a prestigious annual series hosted by the Sociology and Social Policy Division at the University of Southampton. Past speakers have included Zigmund Bauman, Nikolas Rose, Ann Oakley and Anthony Giddens.

Professor Savage’s lecture explored the implications of the technologically driven ‘informational paradigm’ for our conceptualisations of citizenship. In order to fully ‘belong’ in the 21st century, he argued, we must be able to deal competently with a mass of information in everyday life, from school league tables to multiple cultures of consumption.

Professor Savage contrasted the middle class ‘cultural omnivore’ with the stigmatized ‘ordinary’ person and argued that handling large quantities of diverse information has become a significant way of defining the self, opening the way for a new category of ‘informational citizenship’

Professor Savage is Professor of Sociology at the University of Manchester and Director of the ESRC Centre for Research on Economic and Social Change.

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