Boundaries Across Borders: A Comparative Cultural Sociology of the Millennial Professional-Managerial Class in Canada, Belgium, and the United States
The project aims to produce a comparative cultural sociological study of the millennial professional-managerial class in Canada, Belgium, and the U.S. More specifically, I will conduct interviews with professionals and managers based in Toronto, Brussels, and New York City – three “global cities,” with a reputation of attracting young expressivist cosmopolitans – in order to identify:
(1) The types, prevalence, and strength of the symbolic boundaries this class draws (e.g., how they define an “authentic,” “actualized,” and “meritorious” self at work and at home; who they associate with and who they distinguish themselves from; the types of people they admire and the types of people they do not respect, etc.).
(2) What historical, social, and institutional factors play a role in shaping these boundaries.
(3) The role of national identity in fostering and/or hindering social solidarity across classes, ethnicities, religious groups, and other identity categories.
In a word, the project will shed light on the cultural mechanisms both fuelling and mitigating rising inequality and political polarization – two of the most pressing issues of our time.