Conclusions reached in previous conceptual, theoretical and empirical research into social protest demonstrate that social background and habitus are mainly excluded. Social stratification research on the one hand provides a confusing picture that is not appropriate for empirical research on societal struggles. The theoretical approaches of movement research on the other hand are less concerned with the social stratification of protesters. The empirical research focusing the social selectiveness of unconventional political participation is concentrated on resources (i.e. capital) and ignoring the level of social dispositions (i.e. habitus). Therefore, it cannot fully explain the social selectiveness of political participation. The author proposes a heuristic of habitus-structure conflicts to deal with these problems in three ways. Firstly, social background is considered even in quantitative research on social movements. Secondly, by problematizing the differences between the symbolic dimension of contention and the habitus of (non-)protesters, the social selectiveness of participation can be understood further. Thirdly, it provides an analytical framework for the connection between research on protest to social inequality. Furthermore, making use of this heuristic individualized and interpersonal conflicts can be interpreted against the background of social inequality. Additionally, it can be analyzed in what way social protest contests and/or reproduces social inequality.