Class system in britain

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YUke
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#1
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#1
Hi.
I'm from Belgium and I'm dealing with the subject ''class system in Britain''.
There are several documents on the internet that already gave me a fine approach to the facts.
But I would really appreciate the opinion from people all over the world, and especially British people.
I already know that it's a very complex situation and that the terms ''working class, upper class, middle class'' are way too vague.
Could you please help me to get a better grip on the life in England, due to the ''class system''? If you are British, do you "feel" that there still is a class ridden society? On this moment, I would rather say there is, because of 'The house of Lords' for instance.But who am I?
Thanks!
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x-pixie-lottie-x
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#2
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#2
the class system is old news... not really a current thing
theres no real differenance any more
people dont label themselves with classes, they dont do certain things because thats what their class should do...
class labels are just not logical in todays society
x
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importunate
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#3
Report 13 years ago
#3
(Original post by x-pixie-lottie-x)
the class system is old news... not really a current thing
theres no real differenance any more
people dont label themselves with classes, they dont do certain things because thats what their class should do...
class labels are just not logical in todays society
x
Erm... not sure I agree with that.

Don't know too many people from estates who play polo or row. I wouldnt say it dominated your life though.
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Chiko 1001
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#4
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#4
Firstly England and Britain are not the same thing.

Secondly, the class system is alive and kicking. Toffs at the top, lazy fools who scrounge on welfare at the bottom, everyone else in the middle. It may not rule our lives but it's there.
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Teigan
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#5
Report 13 years ago
#5
(Original post by x-pixie-lottie-x)
the class system is old news... not really a current thing
theres no real differenance any more
people dont label themselves with classes, they dont do certain things because thats what their class should do...
class labels are just not logical in todays society
x
I disagree.

Many people still label themselves as working class, even to the extent that they would never vote for the Conservatives because they are the 'Toff party'.

Take Labour's by election campain in Crewe and Nantwich where they branded their candidate 'one of us' and the Conservative Candidate was the 'Tory toff'. The campaign failed, but there are still people that think like that.
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x-pixie-lottie-x
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#6
Report 13 years ago
#6
(Original post by importunate)
Erm... not sure I agree with that.

Don't know too many people from estates who play polo or row. I wouldnt say it dominated your life though.
read the sig... say i may be wrong :P:P
but....
farmers = working classs, my friend her family are farmers... she rows for county....
my friend from college lived on an estate, my ex wouldnt walk near where she lived "for fear of his life" and she had horses, played polo occasionaly wasnt a fan prefered show jumping...

but then i guess considering where im from the estates probably aren't what your thinking of...

lets try it this way.... in my area...the class system means pretty much nothing...
x
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x-pixie-lottie-x
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#7
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#7
(Original post by Teigan)
I disagree.

Many people still label themselves as working class, even to the extent that they would never vote for the Conservatives because they are the 'Toff party'.

Take Labour's by election campain in Crewe and Nantwich where they branded their candidate 'one of us' and the Conservative Candidate was the 'Tory toff'. The campaign failed, but there are still people that think like that.
dont do politics im affraid... i couldnt even tell you which party is associated with class... so um....
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AnythingButChardonnay
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#8
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#8
The House of Lords is predominantly filled with Life Peers (that is, people whose titles die out with them). So being a 'Lord' doesn't immediately make you part of the landed gentry.
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bansheeee*
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#9
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#9
im upper class
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AnythingButChardonnay
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#10
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#10
(Original post by x-pixie-lottie-x)
farmers = working classs
I'm not so sure. They're certainly not rich, but I wouldn't say they were working class.
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importunate
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#11
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#11
(Original post by x-pixie-lottie-x)
read the sig... say i may be wrong :P:P
but....
farmers = working classs, my friend her family are farmers... she rows for county....
my friend from college lived on an estate, my ex wouldnt walk near where she lived "for fear of his life" and she had horses, played polo occasionaly wasnt a fan prefered show jumping...

but then i guess considering where im from the estates probably aren't what your thinking of...

lets try it this way.... in my area...the class system means pretty much nothing...
x
Where are you from? I am not being nosy, just wondering as I am from Hampshire and also know farmers, I wouldnt say they were working class. People running businesses with multi million pound turnovers, generally are educated to some level.
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miranda7719
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#12
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#12
would you just define working class as those on benefits or people with jobs such as post men or something?
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johnbrown
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#13
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#13
How do you know if you're middle class?
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johnbrown
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#14
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#14
(Original post by miranda7719)
would you just define working class as those on benefits or people with jobs such as post men or something?
I don't think people on benefits can be classed as working class - I would be more inclined to say the underclass. The working classes are traditionally hard working manual labourers, but I suppose things like postman would come under that as well.
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Renner
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#15
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#15
Farmer = self employed = not working class
Farm worker on the other hand, very working class but may still do things that are associated (wrongly) with the upper class such as shooting and hunting.
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Charlski
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#16
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#16
(Original post by x-pixie-lottie-x)
read the sig... say i may be wrong :P:P
but....
farmers = working classs, my friend her family are farmers... she rows for county....
I wouldn't say farmers are working class at all - farm labourers and farm hands, yes, but most farmers - no.


my friend from college lived on an estate, my ex wouldnt walk near where she lived "for fear of his life" and she had horses, played polo occasionaly wasnt a fan prefered show jumping...

but then i guess considering where im from the estates probably aren't what your thinking of...

I'd agree with you on the thing of people living on estates having horses and things - I do a lot of horsey things, and thus come into contact with all sorts of people, and with a lot of these people, their horseyness has tended to stem from Gypsy/traveller roots. I'm sure it's not always the case, but it is with most that I know. I don't think horses are a judge of class at all.


lets try it this way.... in my area...the class system means pretty much nothing...
x
Are you talking about the Worcestershire-y area? Because I'm afraid I think that's absolutely ********. I'm from Herefordshire, and class is absolutely rife around there.
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bishbash72
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#17
Report 13 years ago
#17
(Original post by YUke)
Hi.
I'm from Belgium and I'm dealing with the subject ''class system in Britain''.
There are several documents on the internet that already gave me a fine approach to the facts.
But I would really appreciate the opinion from people all over the world, and especially British people.
I already know that it's a very complex situation and that the terms ''working class, upper class, middle class'' are way too vague.
Could you please help me to get a better grip on the life in England, due to the ''class system''? If you are British, do you "feel" that there still is a class ridden society? On this moment, I would rather say there is, because of 'The house of Lords' for instance.But who am I?
Thanks!
To be honest, the class system as a rigid set-up melted away before and during the 80s. Nowadays there are obviously poorer and richer people but the division of 'working class' (ie working with your hands) 'middle class' with an administrative position and 'upper class' with inherited wealth is increasingly meaningless. Also consider that since Labour became New Labour 'the working class' as a concept has fallen from favour in politics.

Hope that helps.

P.S. The House of Lords, while still having hereditary seats, is mostly made up of those appointed by the government. Corrupt, yes, but not particularly classist.
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Renner
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#18
Report 13 years ago
#18
(Original post by Charlski)
I'd agree with you on the thing of people living on estates having horses and things - I do a lot of horsey things, and thus come into contact with all sorts of people, and with a lot of these people, their horseyness has tended to stem from Gypsy/traveller roots.
Our farm is now lively stables, down near Newcastle. Most of the people there are from the town and my god they don’t know what there doing. Half of them can’t ride properly; they spend all this money and get dressed up just to go round a field a few times.

Money doesn’t mean class anymore; these people can afford horses and all the gear but there not upper class.
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nigel_s
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#19
Report 13 years ago
#19
A class system exists, but there is more social mobility nowadays. Of course, many people lack the drive or the will to break from their working class backgrounds.
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Geritak
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#20
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#20
The class system is alive and well, but we are less willing to admit it, I think.

I went to see Ed Byrne (comedian) a couple of times recently. In each gig, he asked for a show of hands as to who considered themselves middle class. Both times, no-one volunteered. He then asked who was working class; the first time everyone threw their hands in the air, and the second time only one guy did. I found this odd, especially my own reaction - I've freely owned up before in other situations to being lower middle (if not middle middle) class, but for whatever reason, something stopped me from saying so when asked directly.

There are all kinds of statistics to say that your life chances are affected by your socioeconomic position at birth, and the semi-rivalry on here between state and publicly-educated students is a good indication that we are at some level aware of that. Most English people have a pretty well-developed internal class-radar, too. :p: Accent, dress, car - all used subtly and subconsciously to place someone on a scale, even though the old markers like occupation have become less reliable.

I think the major change has been the lack of respect accorded to those higher up the scale (and I'm not saying this is a bad thing at all). Reverse snobbery is increasingly common, and the traditional upper classes are usually regarded with some pity and derision.

I really would recommend the book Watching the English, by Kate Fox, for a better explanation of how class is evident in everyday English life, while still allowing some people to claim that it isn't. Her ideas are compelling, and she explains them quite clearly.
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