WhenBourdieuwaswritingDistinction, it was still widely imagined that European working-class movements – trade unions, socialist and social-democratic parties, previously successful in improving pay and working conditions, in extending political rights like the vote, and social rights like health care, education and social security benefits – might yet recast capitalist institutions. Solidarity, seen as the key to the gate of the proletarian paradise, was correspondingly central to social science research agendas. The advance of neo-liberalism since the 1980s and the collapse of the communist regimes of Eastern Europe after 1989 buried this vision of paradise; and perhaps also its key. Thereafter, sociology was impelled to revise its interpretation of the working class.