About this Event
“Expecting the beneficiaries of the inequity which characterises the British class system to be capable of thinking or reporting objectively about it is a bit like expecting a benzodiazepine addict to write their own Valium prescriptions.”
(Darren McGarvey, The Social Distance Between Us)
This free event organised between the Class Research Group (Manchester Metropolitan University) and MetroPolis (Manchester Metropolitan University) and supported by the Policy Evaluation Research Unit (Manchester Metropolitan University), Department of Sociology (Manchester Metropolitan University) and Manchester Centre for Youth Studies will shed light on a crucial aspect missing from recent debates on ‘Levelling Up’: the concept of social class.
The Class Research Group firmly believes that understanding the role of class in modern society is essential in tackling inequality and comprehending its relationship with other social divisions. They aim to challenge the notion that social class is merely a relic of the past, asserting its significance in understanding contemporary culture and social problems.
The event will feature a talk from Orwell Prize-winning author Darren McGarvey, including a Q&A, followed by a panel discussion with Darren McGarvey, Becky Bainbridge (RECLAIM), Professor Ashwin Kumar (Manchester Metropolitan University), and Professor Mike Savage (LSE).
Refreshments will be provided and there will be opportunity for networking.
About our speakers
, better known by the stage name Loki, is a writer, columnist and hip hop recording artist, who has made regular media appearances as a social commentator.
Darren grew up in Pollok on the south side of Glasgow, and has lived through extreme poverty, addiction and homelessness. Between 2004 and 2006 he wrote and presented eight programmes on social deprivation for BBC Radio Scotland. Since then he has been a regular contributor to the BBC, STV and other national media, and currently has a weekly column in The Scotsman. In 2009, he founded Volition Scotland, an organisation that was designed and run by the young people who used it. He was part of the Poverty Truth Commission that was hosted in Glasgow in the same year. McGarvey became the Violence Reduction Unit’s first ever ‘Rapper-in Residence’ in 2015 and continues to work across Scotland in some of its most challenged communities.
In November 2017 his first book “Poverty Safari” was published, and was an instant bestseller and critical hit, making the Sunday Times top ten bestseller lists and receiving plaudits from national newspapers and magazines. He won the prestigious ‘Orwell Book Prize’ in June 2018 .
He has presented three series of shows for BBC Scotland, “Darren McGarvey’s Scotland”, “Darren McGarvey’s Class Wars” and “Darren McGarvey’s Addictions” and his latest book “The Social Distance Between Us” was published in 2022, serialised on BBC Radio 4.
is Professor of Social Policy and Director of the Policy Evaluation Research Unit at Manchester Metropolitan University. He has previously worked as Chief Economist of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Senior Economic Adviser at` the Department for Work and Pensions, as Rail Director of the consumer watchdog Passenger Focus, and as an economic adviser to Gordon Brown.
is CEO at RECLAIM and is a highly experienced senior leader in the charity sector with an extensive track-record leading the creation and delivery of a wide range of pioneering programmes focused on supporting the talent and potential of young people from working-class communities and other marginalised backgrounds.
is Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics. Between 2011-15 he was one of the leaders of the Great British Class Survey which attracted unprecedented public interest in understanding the dynamics of contemporary class divisions in the UK. His most recent book is ‘The Return of Inequality: Social Change and the Weight of the Past’.
Event Venue & Nearby Stays
Fourth Floor, Manchester School of Art, Benzie Building, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, United Kingdom