How does culture articulate, frame, organise and produce stories about social class and class difference? What do these stories tell us about contemporary models of success, failure, struggle and aspiration? How have class-based labels been revived or newly-minted to categorise the insiders and outsiders of the new 'age of austerity'? Drawing on examples from the 1980s to the present day this book investigates the changing landscape of class and reveals how it has become populated by a host of classed figures including Essex Man and Essex Girl, the 'squeezed middle', the 'sharp-elbowed middle class', the 'feral underclass', the 'white working class', the 'undeserving poor', 'selfish baby boomers' and others. Overall, the book argues that social class, although complicated and highly contested, remains a valid and fruitful route into understanding how contemporary British culture articulates social distinction and social difference and the significant costs and investments at stake for all involved.