Born To Rule: The making and remaking of the British elite

  With Professor Aaron Reeves, Oxford University, and Professor Sam Friedman, LSE

Seminar 1 of Hilary Term's Sociology Seminar Series

Please join either in person or online. For in-person attendees, the talk will be preceded by a light lunch at 12.15pm.

Please email with any questions or to receive the Microsoft Teams link.



Aaron Reeves is a sociologist with interests in public health, culture, and political economy. His research is focused on understanding the causes and consequences of social and economic inequality across countries. He joined DSPI in March 2018. Since 2016 Aaron has been an Associate Professorial Research Fellow in Poverty and Inequality at LSE's International Inequalities Institute.

Prior to that he was Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Sociology at Oxford, where he was also a research fellow at Nuffield College. He has also worked briefly at the University of Cambridge. He completed his PhD in Applied Social & Economic Research with the Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex in 2013.

Sam Friedman is a sociologist of class and inequality, and his research focuses in particular on the cultural dimensions of contemporary class division. He has recently finished a new book with Aaron Reeves entitled Born To Rule (out in September 2024 with Harvard University Press) exploring how the British elite has changed over the last 120 years. Here they build on their recent work – examining the propulsive power of top private schools, the changing nature of elite culture and the meaning of merit – to provide a new understanding of the British elite. 

Alongside this project Sam continues to research social mobility into higher professional and managerial occupations, building on his book (with Daniel Laurison) The Class Ceiling: Why it Pays to be Privileged. Sam is also co-editor of The British Journal of Sociology and Director of the MSc in Inequalities and Social Science at LSE's International Inequalities Institute.