Much of this book was written within the warmth of supportiveness of the sociology department at the University of Aberdeen. I am indebted to my col­leagues there in so many ways and I continue to miss their laughter. The book was finished at Flinders University and I apologize for ruining some of our pleasant lunches by making everyone discuss things like symbolic capital. I am very grateful to colleagues at those and other universities who read draft chap­ters for me: Alex Howson, Karen O’Reilly, Chris Beasley, Paula Black, Jane Haggis, Heather Brook, and Mike Hepworth. Thank you to Carolyn Corkindale, the Department of Sociology’s excellent research assistant at Flinders, for tracking down many of the references and doing much tidying up of the manuscript. The faults, of course, remain mine. I commend you to those faults as points where as readers you can engage with the text and say: ‘Hang on a minute, I’m not so sure about that’. It is that engagement which will make the book useful.

I had no leave to help me complete this book, apart from a few weeks at the end of one semester, so I hope you all feel very sorry for me. Thank you to Brent for always feeling sorry for me when I needed it. I am glad that I was able to complete this book and writing it reminded me of all the students I have taught and how much I learnt from them. So thank you to them. For stu­dents or colleagues who might read this, email me and tell me if you like the book or hate it, or have questions. That is what I think it should be about.