The « service class » : middle classes in British sociology
British sociology over the last fifteen years has produced an abundant supply of literature on the middle classes. These works are closely linked to the realization that mental categories are inadapted when required to be used as traditional instruments to analyze the evolution of the development model of western economies and societies in the after-war period. They are also linked to the fact that there has been a large increase in the number of socio-professional categories not belonging to the possessing elite nor to popular categories (or unqualified). Specific denominations have been made to designate what has often been called in France « les nouvelles classes moyennes salariées » (« the new salaried middle classes »). Unlike what happened in France, where this terminology remained vague and where this subject inspired few new works, in Great Britain, a large conceptualization project was undertaken based on the notion of « service class ». Authors with very different views took part in this work, organizing debates with cumulative effects. In no way confined to a sub-field of the discipline, they were able to examine and bring in changes over its full breadth.