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John Harry Goldthorpe FBA (born 27 May 1935) is a British sociologist working at the Department of Social Policy and Intervention, University of Oxford as well as being an emeritus Fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford. He works in the areas of social stratification, macrosociology, and recently cultural consumption. He has made important contributions to the practical application of sociological Rational Choice Theory. He was editor of Sociology 1970-1973.
He was a student of David Glass at the London School of Economics.
Goldthorpe was born in Great Houghton, West Riding of Yorkshire; his father was a colliery clerk. He was educated at Wath-upon-Dearne Grammar School, University College, London and the London School of Economics.
His work on social class led to the well-established Goldthorpe class schema, one of the standard approaches to classify class in sociology. The Goldthorpe class schema is based on eleven classes, which are grouped into three main clusters—the service class (or salariat), the intermediate class, and the working class.
He is also known for his vocal critiques of the concepts of 'cultural capital' and 'habitus', as initially formulated by Pierre Bourdieu, which Goldthorpe argues are ill informed, both empirically and theoretically.