The article advances a case for greater consideration of the moral aspects of the experience of class, and the concerns that people have regarding their class position and how others view them. First it outlines an approach to understanding lay normativity, especially morality, in which moral sentiments are viewed as evaluative judgements on how behaviour affects well-being. Drawing upon concepts from moral philosophy and examples of moral boundary drawing and shame, it argues that lay morality is weakly differentiated and assumes a universalizing character. Secondly it considers the close relations between economic distribution and recognition, arguing that it is necessary to distinguish between conditional and unconditional recognition, and internal and external goods in order to understand the struggles of the social field. Class inequalities render equality of conditional recognition impossible, because they prevent equal access to practices and goods worthy of recognition.