Stockholms universitet

Elias Le GrandUniversitetslektor

Om mig

Universitetslektor, docent

Studierektor för forskarutbildning

Avdelningen för barn- och ungdomsvetenskap

Jag arbetar vid Barn- och ungdomsvetenskapliga institutionen sedan juni 2016. Dessförinnan arbetade jag som lektor vid Sociologiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet, där jag även disputerade. Under min akademiska bana har jag dessutom innehaft befattningar som gästforskare, postdoktor eller lektor vid lärosäten i Storbritannien (Anglia Ruskin University, Birkbeck College, Goldsmiths College), Sverige (Textilhögskolan, Örebro universitet) samt Japan (Kyoto universitet).


Ungdomar, generation, sociala figurer, identitet, klass, konsumtion, plats, smak, moralisering.



Se min profil på engelska.


I urval från Stockholms universitets publikationsdatabas

  • Consumption and Place: The Phenomenology of Relational Economic Geography

    2024. Patrik Aspers, Elias le Grand. Geografiska Annaler. Series B, Human Geography


    This article contributes to research on geographies of consumption and relationality in economic geography by analysing the interconnection of consumption and place in practice, based on ethnographic research. This text focuses on consumption defined broadly to include choice of clothing and lifestyle among young people in a British town characterized as ‘chavs’. The research is grounded in ethnographic field work, including photo elicitation interviews, observations and participant observations. To analyse the ways in which consumption is related to place, this text integrates conceptual frames used in economic, cultural and social geography with perspectives developed in economic sociology and anthropology. The study takes a relational approach in both theory and fieldwork. Our empirical analysis demonstrates that place and style consumption are relationally constitutive through practices of association and dissociation. We thereby show that the meanings attached to a place may derive partly from acts of consumption by those living there, but also that the relationship of meaning construction goes from consumption to the constitution of place. Our analysis presents evidence that style and the value attributed to people’s practices are co-constituted by the inhabitants, as well by other, typically external actors, such as bloggers and the media.

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  • Legitimating taste in cultural fields: Generational classifications and symbolic struggles in representations of ‘natural’ wine

    2024. Elias le Grand. Journal of Consumer Culture 24 (1), 120-137


    This article addresses the legitimation of taste in cultural fields by examining the role of generational dynamics in the field of fine wine. In the last decade, ‘natural’ wine has become an increasingly influential category in the fine wine field. The article explores how legitimating media institutions in this field represent natural wine, particularly as regards to the symbolic properties of cultural taste. The empirical material consists of articles published in two leading US wine magazines, VinePair and Wine Spectator. The analysis shows that natural wine was represented as a contested category whose aesthetic qualities were only partially legitimated. Moreover, generational and age-coded categories were deployed to construct oppositions between natural wines and other fine wines, as well as between their respective proponents. The aesthetic characteristics of natural wine were associated with emerging forms of cultural capital that partly challenged established aesthetic standards in the fine wine field connected to traditional highbrow cultural capital. Contestations over natural wine are therefore indicative of symbolic struggles over cultural taste in the fine wine field. In conclusion, the article contributes to research in cultural fields by analysing the relationship between generational classifications and contestations over aesthetic standards in the legitimation of taste.

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  • Moralization and classification struggles over gentrification and the hipster figure in austerity Britain

    2023. Elias le Grand. Journal of Urban Affairs 45 (1), 49-64


    This paper explores the role of moralization processes and classification struggles in public contestations over gentrification. Focusing on representations in news media, the paper examines recent public reactions centering on a “hipster café” in London’s East End. The analysis shows that the hipster, typically associated with trendy, youthful middle-class people, is a contested figure who some actors attempt to cast as a folk devil blamed for the increasing social polarization and displacement of working-class people following gentrification. But largely misrecognized in this debate is the intensification of neoliberal policies in contributing to these processes. Moreover, dominant representations portray the hipster figure as contributing to the vibrancy and economic development of gentrified districts. Lastly, it is argued that the public contestations over gentrification and the hipster figure involve forms of class politics about the moral hegemony to legitimate particular narratives about who has the right to the city.

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  • Chav Gender Identities: Traditional Media Representation and Recent TikTok Developments

    2023. Emilia Di Martino, Elias le Grand. Media and Gender

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  • Searching for the Elusive “Covidiot”: Moral Governance, Policing and the Social Production of Ignorance in a (Post-) Pandemic World

    2022. Elias le Grand, Alexander Araya López. Journal of Cultural Analysis and Social Change 7 (1), 5-6


    This comment piece examines the social figure of the “covidiot”, which emerged at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic and has been used for social and political purposes since then. We argue that the covidiot is a somewhat elusive figure whose formation actualizes wider symbolic struggles over moral and epistemological issues that speak to contemporary social anxieties. Firstly, the paper suggests that the covidiot is typically imagined as a figure of blame through which certain individuals and groups are moralized for their failure to follow social distance regulations. The covidiot is thereby constructed as a threat to the moral social order and subjected to forms of policing and governance. In these processes, attributions of covidiocy and their contestations can be read as struggles for moral hegemony which serve to construct moral boundaries between deserving and undeserving citizens. Secondly, the paper offers a preliminary critique of the social production of ignorance, pointing out how the political uses of the covidiot obscure the societal processes that produce systemic ignorance, allocate blame in individuals while undervaluing the responsibility of corporations, media outlets or the nation-state. This figure is therefore implicated in struggles over epistemic authority characteristic of our present post-truth era.

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  • Folk devils and the hipster figure: On classification struggles, social types and figures in moral panic research

    2021. Elias le Grand. Modern folk devils, 27-45


    In more than four decades, moral panic studies have made important contributions to sociological research, notably to the study of social identities and cultural processes. But whilst scholars in this strand of research have subjected the moral panic concept to much fruitful critical interrogation and development, its twin concept, the folk devil, has been surprisingly undertheorised and rarely subjected to reflexive analysis. In his original formulation, Stanley Cohen conceptualised the folk devil as a particular social type, one where a group or category of individuals in society are labelled as ‘visible reminders of what we should not be’ (Cohen, 2002 [1972]: 2). This paper attempts to extend Cohen’s brief discussion of the folk devil as a social type in order to clarify the meaning and role of the latter in moral panic research. To this end, it draws on Bourdieu’s research on classification to conceive of the folk devil type as a particular social identity position formed through classificatory struggles over value and recognition between different social groups. Moreover, the paper draws a distinction between the concept of social type and the related notion of figure. It is argued that during moral panic processes certain figures may or may not be positioned as folk devils. The key arguments of the paper are illustrated by means of a case study on the contested societal reactions to the figure of the middle-class hipster in a gentrified London district.

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  • Representing the middle-class ‘hipster’: Emerging modes of distinction, generational oppositions and gentrification

    2020. Elias le Grand. European Journal of Cultural Studies 23 (2), 184-200


    This article explores how representations of the ‘hipster’ in newspapers and onblogs are bound up with processes of class distinction in contemporary Britain. Theanalysis demonstrates that the hipster is a contested middle-class social type who isthe object of both denigration and prestige. The hipster is typically represented as ayoung person associated with the middle-class fraction of the cultural intermediarieswho is engaged in a particular set of reflexive and trendy consumption practices,often performed in gentrified urban spaces and linked to the creative industries.The article suggests that the disputed status of ‘hipster cool’ is indicative of shiftingclass distinctions in cultural taste and classificatory struggles within the middleclass between generational groupings that involve questions of authenticity. Suchcontestations are reflected by the increasing legitimacy of emerging forms ofcultural capital rooted in popular culture and embraced by young people, and thewaning symbolic power of traditional highbrow culture associated with an oldergeneration of middle-class people. It is also argued that the classificatory strugglesover hipster tastes and lifestyles have a spatial dimension as bound up with thepublic controversies and social anxieties linked to gentrification in neoliberal Britain.

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  • Conceptualising Social Types and Figures: From Social Forms to Classificatory Struggles

    2019. Elias le Grand. Cultural Sociology 13 (4), 411-427


    The analysis of social types, such as the stranger, the marginal man and the folk devil, has a long, significant history in sociology and related fields. Although the social type concept currently enjoys a rather marginal status, in recent years the related concept of figure has been increasingly deployed in research. This article contends that Bourdieu’s work on classification and social differentiation can offer fruitful tools for a renewed focus on types and figures. To this end, it advocates a critical approach to the study of social types and figures in which they are conceived as social identities tied to classificatory struggles over meaning, value, recognition and resources between differentially positioned actors. The article also attempts to clarify the distinction between types and figures and discuss how they can be applied in research. The main arguments of the article are developed through a critical reading of key contributions to research on social types and figures as well as through the discussion of two empirical studies.

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