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Class, Power and Inequality in Rural Areas: Beyond Social Exclusion?



This article reviews approaches to the study of poverty, inequality and social exclusion in rural areas and seeks to relate these to new directions in class analysis and to ideas of place and hyper-mobility. The article is primarily conceptual, drawing on Bourdievian approaches to class analysis and suggesting a new research agenda on class and inequality in rural areas. Specifically, the article argues that there is a need to research not only the ways in which those in similar social positions construct place and rurality, but also how these discursive and symbolic constructions are enlisted in class formation and domination. How does rurality itself become a vehicle for increasing and storing inequality and thence for its intergenerational transmission?