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Globalised Minds, Roots in the City: Urban Upper-middle Classes in Europe

ISBN: 978-1-118-33077-7
264 pages
November 2014, Wiley-Blackwell
Globalised Minds, Roots in the City: Urban Upper-middle Classes in Europe (1118330773) cover image


Globalised Minds, Roots in the City utilises empirical evidence from four European cities to explore the role of urban upper middle classes in the transformations experienced by contemporary European societies. 

  • Presents new empirical evidence collected through an original comparative research about professionals and managers in four European cities in three countries
  • Features an innovative combination of approaches, methods, and techniques in its analyses of European post-national societies
  • Reveals how segments of Europe’s  urban population are adopting “exit” or “partial exit” strategies in respect to the nation state
  • Utilises approaches from classic urban sociology, globalization and mobility studies, and spatial class analysis
  • Includes in depth interviews, social networking techniques, and classic questions of political representation and values


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Table of Contents

Front Matter (pages i–xi)

Introduction (pages 1–14) 

Chapter 1 Comparing Upper-Middle-Class Managers in Four Cities (pages 15–59)

Chapter 2 Managers in the City (pages 60–106)

Chapter 3 Three Ways of Living in a Globalised World (pages 107–148)

Chapter 4 Managers’ Social Networks (pages 149–172)

Conclusion (pages 173–188)

Bibliography (pages 189–207)

Methodological Appendix (pages 208–212) 

Questionnaire (pages 213–240)

Index (pages 241–245)
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Author Information

Alberta Andreotti is Research Fellow in Economic Sociology at the Department of Sociology at the University of Milan-Bicocca and Associate member of the “Cities Are Back in Town” research group, based at Sciences Po, Paris.

Patrick Le Galès is CNRS Research Professor of Politics and Sociology at Sciences Po Paris, Centre d’études Européennes and Co-Chair of the “Cities Are Back in Town” research group.

Francisco Javier Moreno Fuentes is Research Fellow at the Institute of Public Goods and Policies (IPP-CSIC).

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"Globalised Minds is absolutely of this moment; it is aware of the political moment of Europe and of the politics of austerity and straining social cohesion in urban contexts. This is a study for our times and an essential insight into the needs and desires of a rather urbane and somewhat grounded fraction of the social elite." (Urban Studies 2016)

'This book bravely takes on some of the key issues agitating sociology – the value of classical sociological categories in a more transnational, mobile and cosmopolitan urban word; the socio-spatial consequences of recent transformations in capitalism; and the continued relevance, or not, of historical trajectories. The result is a wonderful, well researched, scholarly addition to these literatures that finally brings them all together. The book demonstrates the real value of deep empirical investigation in dislodging a priori but pervasive representations of class in the city.'
— Loretta Lees, Professor of Human Geography, University of Leicester

'This brilliant book is a much needed contribution, as it moves ongoing conversations about globalization and its effects to a whole new level of theoretical sophistication and empirical rigor. Through a meticulous and detailed examination of evidence, the authors reveal how and to what extent the European upper middle class has become transnational (the answer: less than predicted by speculating social theorists). This powerful contribution will certainly leave its mark on the study of contemporary inequality, transnationalism, spatial transformations, and social change in European societies.'
— Michele Lamont, Harvard University

'Many social theorists have become enamoured with the idea that a global capitalist class has emerged and with it, a new global society. The agents of this process are assumed to live nowhere and have allegiance to no one but themselves. This wonderful book skewers these arguments by actually talking to people who appear to be this vanguard (managers having lived and worked abroad in four European cities) and reporting how they feel, act, and think, about the places where they live. Suffice it to say, the evidence for these broad claims is lacking. The image one gets is of a European upper middle class, one whose transnationalism is restricted in time and space to Europe. As such, their values and behavior are similar to middle class people everywhere. They like the variety and tradition of the places they live and want to preserve it, but at the same time value the freedom of modern life whereby people can pursue opportunity and live enlightened lives.'
— Neil Fligstein, Department of Sociology, University of California

'This stunning comparative study offers the most sensitive and systematic analysis yet of the ongoing role of the city in the hearts and minds of the European upper middle classes. In refuting simplistic arguments about the rise of global mobility, it demonstrates the appeal of the urban in the lives of privileged social groups. A compelling analysis which must be read by all urban scholars and all those interested in class and inequality.'
— Mike Savage, Martin White Professor of Sociology, Head of Department, LSE 

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