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.
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.
- 2007 On Sociology (2nd Edition). Stanford: Stanford University Press.
- 2004 The economic basis of social class. London: Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, London School of Economics.
- 2000 On sociology: numbers, narratives, and the integration of research and theory. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-829571-5
- 1996 Rational choice theory and large-scale data analysis. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- 1992 The constant flux: a study of class mobility in industrial societies. Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN 0-19-827383-5
- 1992 Revised class schema. London: Social and Community Planning Research.
- 1991 The uses of history in sociology: reflections on some recent tendencies. Oxford: Nuffield College.
- 1987 Social mobility and class structure in modern Britain. Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN 0-19-827286-3
- 1963 The affluent worker: political attitudes and behaviour. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-07204-2
- Goodhart, David (July 26, 2009). "They’re wrong – social mobility is not going downhill". The Sunday Times.
- John H. Goldthorpe (February 2007). ""Cultural Capital": Some Critical Observations" (PDF). Sociologica (Italian Journal of Sociology on line). doi:10.2383/24755.
- "The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences: John H. Goldthorpe". Retrieved 2009-05-01.[dead link]