the british class system Watch

Afton Lawson
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I have lived in America all my life and last September I came to live in England. I attend an public school, and think its a great place. But something i have noticed is that whenever the qustion of whether something is only for one class, for example politics for upper class brits seem to be really touchy.

Could someone plase try and explain this whole class system to me because as yet I haven't met anyone who can.

Thanks all.
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Tinkerbee
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* a :p:
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Ducki
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Its not really explainable. Sorry for the blunt answer, but it really isn't. Or it is, but TSR has a character limiter on the threads.
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837491
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i have it all, everyone else is just jealous
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faber niger
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Will someone please post the relevant Monty Python sketch from YouTube; I would, but I'm too lazy.
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Ed.
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Well... Along the lines of Ducki. How long do you have ? It may take a while to explain and even then I would be wrong.
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faber niger
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Here we go:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=SFiQihYZn_0
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nuodai
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There is no class system. There are huge economic differences, but I refuse to call it a "system" because there's no real order to it... there are so many bits in-between the classes and so many people who move from one class to another that the classes themselves have basically just lost their definitions. If you want to sum it up in a very simplified manner:

Working class ― typically live in council-owned accommodation, work with low-paid jobs, live in large urban areas; sometimes associated with (ironically) not working at all, high crime rates, etc. Go on holiday to Blackpool...

Lower middle class ― maybe rent their house or own a small one, work an average job, struggle to pay the bills but get by. Go on holiday to cottages in Wales.

Middle class ― somewhere betwixt LMC and UMC.

Upper middle class ― typically live in larger houses, often in quiet suburban areas of cities or towns; or sometimes in large houses in the country. Children quite often go to private school but state schools are still an option. Jobs are better-paid and there is often a fair amount of excess money to spend on gadgets and holidays abroad.

Upper class ― live in the posh parts in houses worth typically about £500k+. Much of the money is inherited but well-paid jobs often come hand-in-hand with this. Children have private schooling and, in some cases, home schooling with a private tutor. Holidays in 5* accommodation all over the world, and several times a year aren't uncommon.

But like I say, this is highly simplified. I doubt many people fit into just one of these categories, and may even merge working class and upper class in some aspects.
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hermaphrodite
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(Original post by Afton Lawson)
I have lived in America all my life and last September I came to live in England. I attend an public school, and think its a great place. But something i have noticed is that whenever the qustion of whether something is only for one class, for example politics for upper class brits seem to be really touchy.

Could someone plase try and explain this whole class system to me because as yet I haven't met anyone who can.

Thanks all.
Would that be a fee paying school, or a free state school :p:
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faber niger
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(Original post by Afton Lawson)
I have lived in America all my life and last September I came to live in England. I attend an public school, and think its a great place. But something i have noticed is that whenever the qustion of whether something is only for one class, for example politics for upper class brits seem to be really touchy.

Could someone plase try and explain this whole class system to me because as yet I haven't met anyone who can.

Thanks all.
We are much less accepting of aristocracy or plutocracy than America, rightly in my humble opinion. The myth of meritocracy has been propagated far and wide; though, to be fair, Britain is getting more meritocrical, to the extent that it ever can be a true meritocracy.
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faber niger
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(Original post by hermaphrodite)
Would that be a fee paying school, or a free state school :p:
The former, I think. Just basing it on his implied view of 'divine rule' for the upper-classes.
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Reflexive
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http://www.stewartmorris.com/essays/14Ingham4.pdf
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Afton Lawson
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(Original post by hermaphrodite)
Would that be a fee paying school, or a free state school :p:
it is a fee paying school yes.
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EA-man
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Not sure if this answers the OP's question but in my opinion, Britain and its people are more concerned or snobbish about the subject of class. It feels like Americans are more respectful or just willing to talk openly to you if you've told them you were once 'lower class' and are in a better situation, but Brits sort of look down on you like it's less worth their time talking to you. This is a generalisation, and more true with older, more conservative people, but it's reflective of my personal experiences living here.
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DoMakeSayThink
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In America, what class you're in is defined by your salary. In Britain, it's more complicated. Beyond that, the book "Watching The English" by Kate Fox (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Watching-Eng.../dp/0340818867) is probably a reasonably good port of call. It's fairly funny, too.
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Segat1
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(Original post by DoMakeSayThink)
In America, what class you're in is defined by your salary. In Britain, it's more complicated. Beyond that, the book "Watching The English" by Kate Fox (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Watching-Eng.../dp/0340818867) is probably a reasonably good port of call. It's fairly funny, too.
Damned straight. Best book ever. <-- not a lie.
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paperclip
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we like to think of ourselves as a meritocracy so we get touchy when people point out that we're not (well, not fully anyway)

people don't like the idea of class divisions so we pretend they don't exist
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Bmoody
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How accepting are the English of people who don't recognize class? Americans come with the attitude that even a noble birthed millionaire has to earn your respect. Does this create conflict?
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Frodz
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I've always found it quite curious people bring this up since i personally don't see any major difference in class distinctions between Britain and anywhere else in the western world.

The primary factor that determines your class is the amount of money you have in the bank. That is no different wherever you go, as is the distinction between being "old money" and "new money".

(Original post by EA-man)
This is a generalisation, and more true with older, more conservative people, but it's reflective of my personal experiences living here.
Nonsense. The idea of ingrained class differences are left up to nutty socialists and liberals who, while on one hand claim that they're for a classless system, deride "chav scum" as not fitting in their nice PC paradise. Ahh, hypocrisy at its finest.

(Original post by Bmoody)
How accepting are the English of people who don't recognize class? Americans come with the attitude that even a noble birthed millionaire has to earn your respect. Does this create conflict?
What did George Bush Junior do to earn Americans respect past owning oil interests......oh and being the son of George Bush Senior? America has a long line of "old money" families.

The idea that you as a nation are any different is ridiculous.
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thebestusernameever
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(Original post by nuodai)
There is no class system. There are huge economic differences, but I refuse to call it a "system" because there's no real order to it... there are so many bits in-between the classes and so many people who move from one class to another that the classes themselves have basically just lost their definitions. If you want to sum it up in a very simplified manner:

Working class ― typically live in council-owned accommodation, work with low-paid jobs, live in large urban areas; sometimes associated with (ironically) not working at all, high crime rates, etc. Go on holiday to Blackpool...

Lower middle class ― maybe rent their house or own a small one, work an average job, struggle to pay the bills but get by. Go on holiday to cottages in Wales.

Middle class ― somewhere betwixt LMC and UMC.

Upper middle class ― typically live in larger houses, often in quiet suburban areas of cities or towns; or sometimes in large houses in the country. Children quite often go to private school but state schools are still an option. Jobs are better-paid and there is often a fair amount of excess money to spend on gadgets and holidays abroad.

Upper class ― live in the posh parts in houses worth typically about £500k+. Much of the money is inherited but well-paid jobs often come hand-in-hand with this. Children have private schooling and, in some cases, home schooling with a private tutor. Holidays in 5* accommodation all over the world, and several times a year aren't uncommon.

But like I say, this is highly simplified. I doubt many people fit into just one of these categories, and may even merge working class and upper class in some aspects.
Thats me.
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