Rurality, Class, Aspiration, and the Emergence of the New Squierarchy

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Investigating the (possible) emergence of a ‘New Squirearchy’ in rural England, this research considers the extent of a practical appropriation of the discourse of the country gentleman within the milieu of a specific community in the South East. A process commonly attributed to the middle class, this study engages with those debates on class and class analysis which continue to play out as a key theme in rural studies, and argues for the incorporation of concepts of performance in providing more nuanced accounts of society in the countryside. Drawing on theories of embodiment as developed in the wider disciplines of sociology and geography, and considering them in direct relation to consumption and cultural capital, this research details the existence of the ‘New Squirearchy’ as a discernable community of practise at work in – and dependent upon – the routine operations of other collectives in rural space.
Date of Award08 Sept 2008
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Aberystwyth University
SupervisorMichael Woods (Supervisor), Martin Dixon Jones (Supervisor) & Deborah Phyllis Dixon (Supervisor)


  • rurality
  • new squierarchy
  • class

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