Informations and abstract
Keywords: middle class, gentrification, residential choice, educational choice, risk
The issue of the problematic existence of the "middle class" stands as one of the more enduring and blurry in the social sciences. The fact that a part of the society may be called "middle class" is recurring throughout the social sciences while its definition remains constantly unstable even though ceaselessly spread across the political and civic arena. This paper is then twofold: it tries to solve part of this fuzziness reviewing two separate national scholarships in the first section while, in the second section, providing a double path of analysis. United Kingdom and France presents two separate and peculiar traditions of conceiving and studying middle classes. UK with its famous tradition of class analysis and France with its peculiar attention to the State, and the political making of social groupings, both offer specific analytical and methodological tools to conceive this kind of phenomenon. In the second section, two specific fields of inquiry are examinated. First of all, residential and educational choices are understood as a key dimension of class reproduction and self-definition. The second specific field reviewed accounts for the exposure that middle class face towards the risk of social downgrading.