Teachers are an important occupational group in modern industrialised societies. At one level, teachers' work and their workplaces have an enduring quality, epitomised, for example, in the image of a single teacher working with a classroom full of students with its familiar organisation of space and its disciplinary assumptions. The chapter discusses some key concepts in this book. The book begins by arguing that class is a viable conceptual tool for understanding teachers' labour in the 1990s. It combines several theoretical approaches to examine education, teachers' labour and social settlements. The book examines teachers' changing market, work and status situations as they mobilise particular assets in the pursuit of their professional project. It begins by suggesting that 'fast capitalism'—a response to the dynamics of globalisation—has resulted in a changing politics of production and consumption.