Publishing with a purpose

Social Divisions

Inequality and Diversity in Britain

Edited by Geoff Payne and Eric Harrison


22 Apr 2020

Page count

512 pages


4th Edition




240 x 172 mm


Policy Press
£29.99 £23.99You save £6.00 (20%) Pre-order


22 Apr 2020

Page count

512 pages


4th Edition




240 x 172 mm


Policy Press
£29.99 £23.99You save £6.00 (20%)
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  • Social Divisions

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    Revised, restructured and updated to reflect the latest data and debates, this new edition of the widely used, classic textbook offers students an accessible account of the major social divisions that structure social life. Written by internationally known sociologists and experts, the book:

    • addresses a wide range of social divisions and inequalities in novel ways, with added

    chapters on education and age;

    • provides a framework for understanding contemporary social inequalities and

    diversities, and how they interrelate;

    • lends itself to teaching in a range of contexts with the potential to dip into particular

    chapters for different modules, or to use the book in a more extensive way for one

    particular module;

    • features signposting through the material, as well as key points, discussion

    questions and selected further readings for each chapter.

    This clearly written volume presents a structured and critical guide to a core field that cuts across disciplines. It is an invaluable introduction and source book for students taking social inequalities and diversity modules in sociology, social policy, social work, education and health studies.

    "Incisive, wide-ranging and forcefully argued, Social Divisions is essential reading for scholars of inequalities and stratification. An indispensable guide to how social divisions shape and constrain our lives." Wendy Bottero, University of Manchester

    "Written by a highly distinguished set of sociologists, this is a standout text with its extensive coverage of so many dimensions of social divisions in one volume." Lavinia Mitton, University of Kent

    "A valuable resource that gets to grips with the causes and effects of the many inequalities that damage the lives of so many people." Chris Yuill, Robert Gordon University

    "A welcome new edition. The chapters are bang up to date. An invaluable text for new cohorts of students in sociology and the social sciences." Fiona Devine, University of Manchester

    "This newly updated edition goes beyond what divides us to examine the processes and practices that continue to unite us." Louise Ryan, University of Sheffield

    Geoff Payne is Research Associate in the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology at Newcastle University. A former President of the British Sociological Association, he has written and worked on social mobility, social inequalities, and social research methodology.

    Eric Harrison is Senior Lecturer in Sociology in the School of Arts and Social Sciences at City, University of London, and Deputy Director of the European Social Survey. He has research interests in social stratification, social inequality, wellbeing and survey methodology.



    Part 1 ~ The Persistence of Social Divisions

    Defining and Explaining 'Social Divisions' ~ Geoff Payne

    Class and Stratification ~ Eric Harrison and John Scott

    Gender ~ Pamela Abbott

    Race ~ John Solomos

    Part 2 ~ Social Structures and Inequalities

    Education ~ Diane Reay

    Work ~ Tim Strangleman

    Poverty ~ Lucinda Platt

    Elites ~ Daniel Smith

    Global Social Divisions ~ Robert Holton

    Part 3 ~ Social Divisions and the Body

    Sexuality ~ Sue Scott and Stevi Jackson

    Age ~ Stephen Hunt and Liz Frost

    Disability ~ Ruth Garbutt and David Saltiel

    Health ~ Clare Bambra and Geoff Payne

    Part 4 ~ Inclusion, Exclusion and Inequality

    Social Identites ~ Steph Lawler

    National Identity ~ David McCrone

    Religion ~ Michael Rosie

    Community ~ Graham Crow and Catherine Maclean

    Social Divisions as a Sociological Perspective ~ Geoff Payne