Norwegian version

Unpacking the Modern Working Class: Life Chances, Social Cohesion and Recognition in an Age of Migration

The project raises four crucial question that seek to describe the contemporary working class, its political orientation, lived experience and their media representations

With the surprising elections of Donald Trump, and the Brexit vote in the UK, the question of the working class is back on the agenda. However, this category is poorly understood in contemporary social science, and this is especially the case in Norway.

First, the project will detail the changing demographic composition of the group, with particular emphasis on its gender, ethnic and generational make-up.

Secondly, the project will detail changing political orientation within the working class, with particular emphasis to generational shifts. It will also unpack its internal political heterogeneity, seeking to explain its fracturing into a loyal social-democratic wing and supporters of the right-wing populist Progress Party.

Third, the project will study the representations of specific working-class occupations in the media, with emphasis on whether these representations are framed in terms of threat or conflict, and which topics characterize media coverage of these groups.

Fourth, through ethnographic and interview-based methods the project will inquire into the relationship between ascribed low-status of these occupations and workers' feelings of self-worth. It will also study the relation between workers notions of the elite/the dominant cultural group and how they imagine their national belonging and access to power.

To this end, the project will exploit both administrative register data, high quality survey material, media texts as well as original ethnographic and interview material.

  • Participants at OsloMet

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