21st Century Standpoints

21st Century Standpoints marks an exciting new collaboration between the series editors, the BSA and Policy Press to publish sociological work that will inspire and engage a non-specialist 'trade' audience, as well as an academic and student one. Our aim is to commission books that speak to pressing public issues, written in accessible and lively prose from a strong empirical base.

This book series offers sociological provocations on pressing questions in the 21st century. It sets out why sociology matters, how it can transform social life and why it must continue to contribute to public debate. Our vision is to establish the series as a rich and accessible collection that appeals as much to the general reader as to those within the academy.

21st Century Standpoints launches at a time when sociology has become an 'exporter' subject (Holmwood, 2011). Today, core sociological theory and methodology is easily 'imported' by other subjects meaning that sociological questions and perspectives are no longer the preserve of the discipline of sociology. The series aims to translate 'sociology's misfortune' into an asset, specifically by moving beyond narrow disciplinary boundaries to work with more ecumenical and expansive ideas of the forms sociology must take.

Books will be based on a synthesis of research, theory and literature and provide a strong line of argument, and so we expect them to feature on university courses and the conventional academic pathways, and satisfy the academic criteria for being included with the Research Excellence Exercise. Nonetheless, they will be accessibly written and a lack of specialist knowledge will not prevent the general reader accessing the works. Books in the series will be written with an international English reading audience in mind. The series will convey a global and cosmopolitan sense of what sociology is and can be.

Visit Policy Press for more details about the series or to purchase books.

Published Volumes

What's wrong with Work? cover image.


What's wrong with Work? by Lynne Pettinger (Apr 2019)

Why does work matter? As changes occur in how work is organised across the globe, What’s wrong with work shows that how workers are treated has wide implications beyond the lives of workers themselves.

Recognising gender, race, class and global differences, the book looks at three kinds of increasingly important work – green work, IT work and the ‘gig’ economy - within the context of the neoliberal society, the promises of technologisation and anticipated environmental catastrophe. It considers the ways formal work is often dependent on informal work, especially domestic work and care work.

Accessible and engaging, it concludes by considering political and ethical questions in what might make work better, arguing that there is a collective responsibility to address bad work.

Get it now from Policy Press!  Also available on Amazon Kindle.

Snobbery cover


Snobbery by David Morgan (Dec 2018)

Social class is not simply about wealth, health and life-chances but also about everyday social experience, such as being included or excluded. As social inequality grows, snobbery is becoming ever more pertinent. This book takes a fresh and engaging look at this key issue, drawing on literature, popular culture and autobiography as well as sociology and history. David Morgan explores the complex history and different varieties of snobbery as well as its all-pervasive character to reveal why, despite claims about the openness of our society, it is still a matter of public concern.

Get it now from Policy Press!  Also available on Amazon Kindle.

Brexit cover image.


Making sense of Brexit by Victor J Seidler (Jan 2018)

After the shock decision to leave the EU in 2016, what can we learn about our divided and increasingly unequal society and the need to listen to each other? This engaging and accessible book addresses the causes and implications of Brexit, exploring this moral anger against political elites and people feeling estranged from a political process and economic system that no longer expressed their will.

Get it now from Policy Press!  Also available on Amazon Kindle.

Miseducation by Diane Reay cover image


Miseducation: Inequality, education and the working classes by Diane Reay (Oct 2017)

We are proud and excited to announce the publication of our first book in the BSA’s newest book series.  Written and priced accessibly, this book addresses the urgent question of why the working classes are still faring so much worse than the upper and middle classes in education. It reveals how we have ended up with an educational system that still educates the different social classes in fundamentally different ways, and vitally – what we can do to achieve a fairer system.

Get it now from Policy Press!  Also available on Amazon Kindle.

Upcoming Volumes

Watch for our next titles:

Money: Myths, Truths and Alternatives
Mary Mellor
July 2019

Series Editors

Les Back, Goldsmiths, University of London
Pamela Cox, University of Essex
Nasar Meer, University of Edinburgh