In his thought-provoking paper ‘New contexts, new challenges: revisiting equal opportunities, particularism and ethnic relations’, Malcolm Harrison has sketched out how one can move beyond certain aspects of what one can term the ‘equal opportunities’ agenda in the quest for a more socially just notion of welfare. I found much to agree with in the paper. As someone who has spent a considerable part of their career teaching and writing about social class, I appreciate Harrison’s insistence on the importance of class inequality which remains a stubbornly tenacious feature of the British social landscape. In addition, his comments on the lack of voice and stigmatisation of social housing tenants are extremely welcome (see also Johnston and Mooney, 2007; Watt, 2008). In the rest of this reply, however, I want to focus upon the later section of Harrison’s paper regarding the significance of localism as a potential basis for particularism
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