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What are the traits of the British upper middle class? watch

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    I'm finding the class system increasingly confusing.

    Back when our class stereotypes were real (top hats etc.), things were well-defined. If you went to university you were one thing and if you did a labouring job you were another thing. Now it's not the same because the paths are well-defined. If I don't have an education yet I succeed on my own and buy a house and live in somewhere like Beaconsfield does that now make me upper middle class? If it does then surely we're ignoring the education factor? And if I'm now then aren't we ignoring the personal wealth/housing situation thing?

    A lot of it seems like contradictions and it seems like it's very much personal opinion at times.
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    (Original post by Genocidal)
    I'm finding the class system increasingly confusing.

    Back when our class stereotypes were real (top hats etc.), things were well-defined. If you went to university you were one thing and if you did a labouring job you were another thing. Now it's not the same because the paths are well-defined. If I don't have an education yet I succeed on my own and buy a house and live in somewhere like Beaconsfield does that now make me upper middle class? If it does then surely we're ignoring the education factor? And if I'm now then aren't we ignoring the personal wealth/housing situation thing?

    A lot of it seems like contradictions and it seems like it's very much personal opinion at times.
    you can buy the umc trappings but unfortunately you'll be rejected and sneered down upon by the people born into that class.

    Imo the difference between england and most other countries is that it's not just about money. A lot of places do ferocious snobbery but you can just buy your way to the top, get a dirty great golden rolex and a flash car and everyone will suck up to you. Even if you made your money running a road building company or whatever.
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    Their main trait is a total disregard for the democratic process. Anyone claiming doctors, lawyers etc. are upper middle is deluded.
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    (Original post by englishrose_18)
    Am doing a study on class and society and I am stuck on the upper middle class. Although I'd probably think of myself as UMC, as I don't have a title so can't be upper class but I am from a more privileged background than most and have a fairly RP accent, I'm not sure what traits this sub-class has. i.e, income, choice of schooling, education level, career, hobbies, where they live, holiday destinations, accent, etc.
    Please help!

    Thanks
    It's probably generalising a lot but....
    Income - unsure here, but way above average, maybe 65k-70k upwards?
    Schooling - Highly rated grammar or private
    Education level - Uni
    Career - Lawyer, Banker, Doctor, Judge, Businessman/woman
    Hobbies - Theatre, literature, sports tend to be less football more hockey and horseriding
    Holiday destinations - long haul exciting rainforest holidays etc
    Accent - RP


    Obviously this isn't concrete. A lot of UMC people probably do like football, and if they are foreign born for example they may not have an RP accent... I'm just saying that these are the things you find more commonly in the UMC than in other classes.
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    You're not truly upper class if you can't make your tax pass through either Morocco or the jersey island.

    Either that or you earn million + so even if you get taxed 50% you still get 500k !
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    Also, you are not upper middle class if you work for someone else.
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    (Original post by Joinedup)
    you can buy the umc trappings but unfortunately you'll be rejected and sneered down upon by the people born into that class.

    Imo the difference between england and most other countries is that it's not just about money. A lot of places do ferocious snobbery but you can just buy your way to the top, get a dirty great golden rolex and a flash car and everyone will suck up to you. Even if you made your money running a road building company or whatever.
    Well I asked because my aunt is an example of someone who became upper middle class. She has the posh voice and lives in the south in a huge Bungalow. Yet the truth is she came from a ****ty council estate just south of the Scottish border.

    It just seems stupid really. All she did was get lots of money and marry someone from the south and now she's a fully fledged member of the middle classes.

    I also don't understand the mentality. Someone who builds themself up is better than someone who was born into it. If you're born into it, you're nothing but worthless slime. You as a person have accomplished nothing. Your parents or grandparents actually did the achieving.
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    (Original post by MedicineMann)
    Also, you are not upper middle class if you work for someone else.
    I think I can see what you're getting at but I don't think it's admissible as a hard and fast rule.
    What if you were otherwise umc but still being groomed for partnership at your daddys firm?
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    I don't do generalisations.
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    (Original post by Joinedup)
    I think I can see what you're getting at but I don't think it's admissible as a hard and fast rule.
    What if you were otherwise umc but still being groomed for partnership at your daddys firm?
    Maybe I should have said as a general rule.
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    (Original post by MedicineMann)
    Maybe I should have said as a general rule.
    Even as a general rule it doesn't stand up.

    Top doctors will work for the NHS/ Multi-billion pound medical companies
    CEOs will be working for shareholders/Chairman
    CFOs will be answerable to the CEO & shareholders/chairman
    Investment bankers/private equity traders/consultants will have bosses
    Partners in Accountancy firms/ Law firms will answer to the managing partner
    Judiciary answer to politicians/ Justice Minister/ Higher courts
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    (Original post by GR3YFOXXX)
    Even as a general rule it doesn't stand up.

    Top doctors will work for the NHS/ Multi-billion pound medical companies
    CEOs will be working for shareholders/Chairman
    CFOs will be answerable to the CEO & shareholders/chairman
    Investment bankers/private equity traders/consultants will have bosses
    Partners in Accountancy firms/ Law firms will answer to the managing partner
    Judiciary answer to politicians/ Justice Minister/ Higher courts
    Doctors are never upper middle class unless they own practices. Lawyers are not upper middle class. Judges are independent for the most part. Investment Bankers are not upper middle class.
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    (Original post by MedicineMann)
    Doctors are never upper middle class unless they own practices. Lawyers are not upper middle class. Judges are independent for the most part. Investment Bankers are not upper middle class.
    Class is to do with so much more than simply occupation.
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    (Original post by MedicineMann)
    Doctors are never upper middle class unless they own practices. Lawyers are not upper middle class. Judges are independent for the most part. Investment Bankers are not upper middle class.
    That is pure nonsense.
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    (Original post by GR3YFOXXX)
    That is pure nonsense.
    Not at all, this thread is full of people trying to label their future career as an upper middle class profession. The upper middle is far more exclusive than Lawyers, Accountants and Doctors.
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    (Original post by MedicineMann)
    Not at all, this thread is full of people trying to label their future career as an upper middle class profession. The upper middle is far more exclusive than Lawyers, Accountants and Doctors.
    Isn't that the upper class? The very point of the middle class is that it's not exclusive - with hard work and ambition, anyone can join the middle-classes.
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    (Original post by PythianLegume)
    Isn't that the upper class? The very point of the middle class is that it's not exclusive - with hard work and ambition, anyone can join the middle-classes.
    Maybe if you believe Thatcherite propaganda.
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    (Original post by MedicineMann)
    Not at all, this thread is full of people trying to label their future career as an upper middle class profession. The upper middle is far more exclusive than Lawyers, Accountants and Doctors.
    Of course it is, but you stated Lawyers, Doctors and Accountants weren't upper middle class. Not all of these professionals will be upper middle class. High street lawyers and accountants earn peanuts doing inane work. But I know for a fact that the equity partners in my firm earn in excess of £700k, have personal relationships with government and are extremely well educated. You are trying to position upper middle class society in much too lofty of esteem. Someone for example, positioned a university lecturer firmly within the upper middle class. A newly qualified accountant in my firm earns c£52k. My friend is a university Professor who is 14 years my senior earns £55k.
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    (Original post by MedicineMann)
    Doctors are never upper middle class unless they own practices. Lawyers are not upper middle class. Judges are independent for the most part. Investment Bankers are not upper middle class.

    You are completely wrong. You are so incorrect you are off the board.

    All right here are the fundamentals. Upper-Middle-Class is Middle-class, yes, but at higher end of this group. By higher end, I mean they are much closer to the upper-class, yet they are still middle-class. Don't confuse upper-middle-class with upper class. Doctors, Lawyers, University Lecturers, Upper Level Civil Servants, High earning Merchants and business managers, High ranking Army/Navy/Air Force Officers, Vicars, Architects, etc., etc. are all text-book upper-middle-class

    What mainly separates them from the lower-middle-class (Note: There is no 'middle-middle-class. One is either at the higher end or the lower end of being middle-class - but both are still middle-class!), is level and quality of education, family background, social associations, and, yes, autonomy and prestige of occupation, and to some degree income.

    A university lecturer is upper-middle-class, but a secondary school teacher is lower middle-class. Both occupations earn similar money, but a university lecturer has umpteen years of post-graduate education to a Ph.D. level, while a secondary school teacher usually is eligible to teach with a Bachelors. A university lecturer has much more autonomy and self-direction in their occupation as opposed to the more standardised routine of a secondary school teacher. Both are answerable to superiors, but a university lecturer has far more independence and say over his/her daily activities.

    Is this starting to make sense?

    You can make similar comparisons between a nurse and a GP, a retail manager and a high level executive in corporate HQ, a police constable compared to an Assistant Chief Constable or a Chief Superintendent.

    All of these people are middle-class, yet one has higher occupational prestige, workplace independence, and usually more education than the other.
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    (Original post by GR3YFOXXX)
    Of course it is, but you stated Lawyers, Doctors and Accountants weren't upper middle class. Not all of these professionals will be upper middle class. High street lawyers and accountants earn peanuts doing inane work. But I know for a fact that the equity partners in my firm earn in excess of £700k, have personal relationships with government and are extremely well educated. You are trying to position upper middle class society in much too lofty of esteem. Someone for example, positioned a university lecturer firmly within the upper middle class. A newly qualified accountant in my firm earns c£52k. My friend is a university Professor who is 14 years my senior earns £55k.

    University professors are usually the textbook example given for someone who is 'upper-middle-class' The reason is for this has nothing to do with salary. It is based on level of education (I don't know of any other profession with their level of education. Even heart surgeons aren't enrolled as a student for as long a time as that of a future academic), level of workplace autonomy and independence. Once a lecturer teaches his/her required modules they can spend their remaining hours researching whatever strikes their fancy. It is not only levels of education and workplace independence that count but prestige of the occupation. University lecturers are obviously highly respected, otherwise the media would not consult them for their expertise.

    Besides, academia was always seen as a profession of choice amongst the non-titled younger siblings of peerage. While older brother inherited the title, the other sons traditionally went on to serve in the Army/Navy, the Church, and academia. And like most upper-class pursuits theyall soon took on upper-middle-class elements to them over the past 200 years.
 
 
 
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