This paper examines the current state of social stratification research. Its focus is mainly upon the British tradition of research, but its reflections also apply more broadly to wider European and North American literature. The paper explores the classical tradition of class analysis in Britain and probes how this became superseded by newer forms of sociological analysis which are rooted primarily in occupational differences. The paper argues that there is a need for a double shift in approach. This would involve a renewal of interest in class-based relations of structured inequality and also a shift of focus away from highly quantitative approaches in favour of different styles of empirical research.