Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

The seven social classes of the UK Watch

  • View Poll Results: Which social class do you belong to?
    Elite
    28
    14.43%
    Established middle class
    47
    24.23%
    Technical middle class
    47
    24.23%
    New affluent workers
    20
    10.31%
    Traditional working class
    10
    5.15%
    Emergent service workers
    21
    10.82%
    Precariat
    21
    10.82%

    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22007058

    People in the UK now fit into seven social classes, a major survey conducted by the BBC suggests.

    It says the traditional categories of working, middle and upper class are outdated, fitting 39% of people.

    It found a new model of seven social classes ranging from the elite at the top to a "precariat" - the poor, precarious proletariat - at the bottom.

    A sociology professor at Manchester University has claimed that this structure provides a more "sophisticated and nuanced" picture of the British class system than the standard 'upper, middle, and working class' system. So which fits you best?

    • Elite - the most privileged group in the UK, distinct from the other six classes through its wealth. This group has the highest levels of all three capitals
    • Established middle class - the second wealthiest, scoring highly on all three capitals. The largest and most gregarious group, scoring second highest for cultural capital
    • Technical middle class - a small, distinctive new class group which is prosperous but scores low for social and cultural capital. Distinguished by its social isolation and cultural apathy
    • New affluent workers - a young class group which is socially and culturally active, with middling levels of economic capital
    • Traditional working class - scores low on all forms of capital, but is not completely deprived. Its members have reasonably high house values, explained by this group having the oldest average age at 66
    • Emergent service workers - a new, young, urban group which is relatively poor but has high social and cultural capital
    • Precariat, or precarious proletariat - the poorest, most deprived class, scoring low for social and cultural capital

    Here is a calculator that can help you decide. (EDIT: a few of the questions are geared towards adults, but you can still answer them with respect to your family)

    EDIT 2: I should make it clear that these definitions are those of the BBC, as defined by the survey. If you (like me, I should add) feel that the questionaire is rather simplistic, here is the link to the full survey that caused this reevaluation in the first place. I haven't done it yet, so if anyone's got a spare 20 minutes it would be interesting to know whether this is more accurate or not.
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    Being a student this calculator is silly.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Mockery)
    Being a student this calculator is silly.
    For some of the questions, however most of them you can at least answer with respect to your family.
    Offline

    5
    ReputationRep:
    Only the English worry about all this classism crap. They did away with all that in most of continental Europe.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Name:  proletariat.jpg
Views: 662
Size:  41.3 KB
    The real wealth creator class, with a very high social and cultural capital, most certainly the highest in the concept of morality.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ConsciousWorker)
    Name:  proletariat.jpg
Views: 662
Size:  41.3 KB
    The real wealth creator class, with a very high social and cultural capital, most certainly the highest in the concept of morality.
    I doubt the proletariat would have high social capital, as this is defined in the survey as "the number and status of people someone knows."
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I came out (using my family not my statistics) as elite, so I'm pretty sure there's something wrong with the calculator, cause I'd say we were middle class. "Knows a wide variety of people, family has attended private educational institutions and university, appreciates cultural shows such as theatre"- sure. Elite class? No way. I'd say elite was more aristocracy and the (classy) ultra-rich. The non classy billionaires are in a league of their own.

    Using my own (rather than my parents) figures, I came out as traditional working class! Then again, I don't think this quiz was very well geared to under 21s and when I took it a second time I discounted all activities (such as going to the opera) and all finances to do with my parents . I enjoyed the quiz, but I'm not British and class has little bearing on my day-to-day life.

    Interesting that I came out in two completely different places!
    Offline

    8
    ReputationRep:
    I'm a student and I'm from continental Europe, I find the class system pretty crap and it doesn't exist in my country anyway.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    'patriotism is usually stronger than class hatred and always stronger than internationalism'
    'One gets a better view of this question if one considers the minor point first. It is quite true that the so-called races of Britain feel themselves to be very different from one another. A Scotsman, for instance, does not thank you if you call him an Englishman. You can see the hesitation we feel on this point by the fact that we call our islands by no less than six different names, England, Britain, Great Britain, the British Isles, the United Kingdom and, in very exalted moments, Albion. Even the differences between north and south England loom large in our own eyes. But somehow these differences fade away the moment that any two Britons are confronted by a European. It is very rare to meet a foreigner, other than an American, who can distinguish between English and Scots or even English and Irish. To a Frenchman, the Breton and the Auvergnat seem very different beings, and the accent of Marseilles is a stock joke in Paris. Yet we speak of ‘France’ and ‘the French’, recognizing France as an entity, a single civilization, which in fact it is. So also with ourselves. Looked at from the outsider even the cockney and the Yorkshireman have a strong family resemblance.' George Orwell
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Wow, According to this, I'm poor and uncultured. Go team me!

    Although, I did do it based on my stats though.
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    The calculator is awful.
    It said my mum was "Traditional working class" because of her low income and because she's friends with a wide variety of people.
    Her income is low because she's retired but not yet of pensionable age.
    She was a Managing Director before she retired so not really working class.
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    I came out as emergent service worker and I think the description seems pretty accurate. Probably where I'd place myself.

    However, I do think the quiz is a little flawed in that the list of people to know could be a bad representation... For example, I know a Bar man, a hairdresser, a window fitter and a waitress which would tip my balance in the lower status social direction, I also know a photography journalist which would probably tip it the other way. So it would be possible for someone to know people from mostly one end of the scale but none of their roles to be on the list which would completely skew both the number and status of people known.

    Xxx


    posted from the TSR Android app
    • PS Helper
    • Study Helper
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    PS Helper
    Study Helper
    Funny, I recently posted a similar proposal.


    (Original post by Hal.E.Lujah)
    In particular, I found myself wondering about the class Marx and Engels decided not to discuss - "The Dangerous Class".


    This would no doubt be labelled in modern British society as vagrants, criminals, and benefit users. I mean absolutely no offence by this banding - they fall into the same category simply because they are not considered an active 'resource' for exploitation by a bourgeois society, and instead they are provided for by that society.

    This class has been termed 'The Under Class' by numerous Marxist philosophers, and I'm hoping to justify its use so that we can employ it on the forums, and in the MHOC. I'm sure we've all found ourself having that conversation with someone about 'Working Class leeches' and how the only solution is to move right wing, and I think without a term such as this we're limited in our ability to retort. At the very least, this draws a far more distinct line between Working Class and an Under Class.


    The 'rule' of anthropological discourse is that a discussion of society should capture everything relevant in as few definitions as is convenient. It is perfectly reasonable for Marx and Engels, writing in the 1840s, to consider the 'dangerous class' irrelevant.

    During their time of writing, the 'dangerous class' consisted primarily of criminals. These criminals would not hold a permanent position in their society - Penal transportation if not the death penalty (inadvertently or otherwise) ensured that the class could not grow into what we could call 'critical mass'.

    However, in our current political sphere, this class has the mechanisations to achieve this critical mass. The introduction of state benefits, the human rights act, and extensive political restructuring has not only permitted this, but encouraged it. The justification for this, from a bourgeois perspective, is that by rehabilitating or inculcating education, it can be considered an investment into potential labour. Essentially, it's the transformation of a primary resource into a secondary.

    So we do not have the luxury of being able to ignore this class as Marx and Engels chose to. It's incredibly relevant to us.

    With that definition being fairly accepted in the anthropological community, despite some debate over defining the class (alot of american scholars have tainted this term by their reliance on racial stereotyping), I could not help but notice that the classical term 'Upper Class' did not quite cover the entirety of the upper spectrum.

    The past half a century has seen the rise of global economy. This has introduced a new class that the use of terms such as aristocracy or upper class does not fully capture.




    I believe this class, quite importantly, may not be the wealthiest of their upper class, but are certainly the most influential. Oil investors, bankers, and even European union politicians could be described as members of the Over Class, simply due to their abilities to engage so influentially with societies that are not their own.


    This leaves the spectrum looking like this:
    Name:  Class Structure.jpg
Views: 471
Size:  96.9 KB




    The arrow colours indicate how easily members of each class boundary can ascend, or how active their threat of descending is.

    Red - Very difficult to ascend, very likely to descend.
    Yellow - Moderately difficult to ascend, moderately likely to descend.
    Green - Very easy to ascend, very easy to descend.



    It's gratifying to know that a professor was paid to say the same thing and that there probably is seven social classes, even if we disagree on the exact definitions of boundaries. I personally based my distinctions on a combination of factors rather than just capital, which I think would benefit the researchers if they chose to refine the definitions.
    Offline

    11
    ReputationRep:
    Emerging service worker right now... But I'm a student so I'm not sure it's a true representation of my background.


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    The factors are too loose and of a wide breadth to be accurate to be honest. For example the top housing option is "houses over £500k", this could mean 550k to one and £1.5 million to another-those two people are likely to have a large wealth disparity but would still be placed in the same class.

    And as someone else pointed out it's pretty useless for students- and the socialising thing as well-Just because if someone is wealthy and cultured doesn't mean they can't have friends that are perhaps not as wealthy or in a profession that commands a lower salary.
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Hal.E.Lujah)
    Funny, I recently posted a similar proposal.






    It's gratifying to know that a professor was paid to say the same thing and that there probably is seven social classes, even if we disagree on the exact definitions of boundaries. I personally based my distinctions on a combination of factors rather than just capital, which I think would benefit the researchers if they chose to refine the definitions.
    You use bankers as an example of the 'overclass': I assume you mean high level bank CEOs and managers of central banks as your ordinary trader or front office investment banker does not command 'huge' influence over society... i think your refinements are slightly warped.
    • PS Helper
    • Study Helper
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    PS Helper
    Study Helper
    (Original post by Mrkingpenguin)
    You use bankers as an example of the 'overclass': I assume you mean high level bank CEOs and managers of central banks as your ordinary trader or front office investment banker does not command 'huge' influence over society... i think your refinements are slightly warped.

    Yes, I mean high level bankers who can influence other societies (which they have to catastrophic effect) and thus can't be constrained to a singular upper class but have to be acknowledged as part of an international community.

    Sorry you feel my refinements are warped :lol:

    Feel free to propose an alternative set of terminology that could encompass the modern class system if your opinion is different.

    (Original post by Mrkingpenguin)
    The factors are too loose and of a wide breadth to be accurate to be honest. For example the top housing option is "houses over £500k", this could mean 550k to one and £1.5 million to another-those two people are likely to have a large wealth disparity but would still be placed in the same class.
    In all honesty, it sounds like you should be agreeing with me. This is exactly what I take issue with in the OP definitions and what I feel I cover with my own.
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    I'm precariat. I would consider myself more cultured than a lot of affluents.
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by tjf8)
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22007058
    (EDIT: a few of the questions are geared towards adults, but you can still answer them with respect to your family)
    I re-did the survey since I misread it when it asked for my post-tax (net) income (I gave my pre-tax (gross) income, which falls in a different bracket) and I went from being 'established middle class' to 'emergent service worker'.

    Doesn't account for houses of multiple occupancy either. I don't know what the income of my housemates will be when I join them (I don't even know who they are yet).
    Online

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by TobaccoSmoke)
    Only the English worry about all this classism crap. They did away with all that in most of continental Europe.
    Quite true, except they didn't, in any way.
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Brexit voters: Do you stand by your vote?
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Write a reply...
    Reply
    Hide
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.