Geographies of identity: Landscapes of class

Robyn Dowling*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


Historically class has been less likely than dimensions such as gender or race to come up in geographical discussions of identity as lived experience. In this progress report I document the novel ways in which social scientists have recently explored the discourses shaping, and lived experiences of, class identities in numerous cities and regions across the globe. Theoretically, the progress report identifies the presence of longstanding theories of class (eg, Marx, Bourdieu) alongside experiential and psychic theories, suggesting that there is a new language of class developing in human geography. Empirically, geographical scholarship on class similarly builds upon conventional interests in the transformation and use of urban spaces as elements of processes of class colonization in the west, but also moves beyond these through consideration of processes in the global south. As a result, new means of forging identity politics are suggested, that recognize the contingent yet ever present position of class in the contemporary era.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)833-839
Number of pages7
JournalProgress in Human Geography
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Class
  • Identity
  • New middle class
  • Respectability
  • Working class


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