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are all your friend in same social class?

(111 Posts)
socialclass Sat 12-Jul-14 22:09:14

So how many of us have good friends from or in a very different social class?

I'd like to think that common interests and some good will could make class, status, background and financial situation irrelevant, and that it's possible for a really good friendship to develop regardless.

Does that fit anyone's experience?

No, probably they aren't. DH and I have always laughed that he is my 'bit of rough' and I am his 'posh totty'. However, we met at uni and have been together 17 years so it clearly doesn't matter at all. I've introduced him to the vineyards of Sancerre and encouraged DS to join the local rugby team, he has taken me to pie and mash shops and bought DS the new West Ham kit on Saturday! We have enriched each other's lives and DS has a reasonable balance.
However, we plan to send DS to an independent secondary school. Most of our friends won't be able to do so. I don't know what will happen then- I very much hope not much will change.

mathanxiety Mon 14-Jul-14 01:58:10

It's there, but yes, as Microcosmia says, few fret about it. My mother frets, but I actually never encountered anyone else who ever wasted much time over accents or occupation.

microcosmia Mon 14-Jul-14 01:33:16

Scarlettsmummy I wouldn't say it's entirely absent by any means but it's hardly a national obsession either. Most people I know go through life without giving it much thought. I'm in Dublin too, so I know there's a difference between say, Geldof and "Mrs. Brown". I just don't know too many people that would fret about it. I lived in South Dublin among the Ross types/rugger players and moved to the North County, among the cricketers and GAA players! They're not so different as you'd think!
I rarely heard people in either place use terms like UC/UMC. They might say X is loaded or Y is up themselves or something like that alright. I wouldn't tend see that as a rigidly defined class description. Most discussion about "the middle classes" seems to be coming from the press and it's often about income more than anything else.

scarlettsmummy2 Sun 13-Jul-14 23:57:46

Slightly amused that there is a perception that class isn't important in Ireland. That has not been my experience at all, although I have much more experience of the north. The 'Ross O'Carroll Kelly' books give a very good insight into the class divide in Dublin, and are very reflective of my own middle class upbringing.

weatherall Sun 13-Jul-14 23:43:28

OP-I wouldn't say lonely just that there are very few people I fit in with.

I suppose I just put on a different 'face' with different groups to avoid sticking out.

I think that so few people 'notice' class because we live in a very unequal divided society. Schools are a lot more homogenous than in the days of grammars/secondary moderns, for example. Different classes in the same workplaces don't mix eg the cleaners and the executives. DCs don't have the same hobbies. We don't even watch the same tv.

It won't be long before we have gated communities imo.

LaQueenLovesJune Sun 13-Jul-14 22:07:46

Hmmm, interesting question hmm

The vast majority of our friends are from the same socio-economic background as us. We're all kinda pseudo middle-class e.g. often the first in our families to go to university, and now all holding professional job.

But I don't equate social class with having money. They are two very different things. We have a few friends who are seriously loaded, but I wouldn't describe them as being the same class and DH and me, because they aren't as well educated, and don't really value education for their children...instead they prefer to conduct thr lives in a very materialistic way.

So, even though I have a good friend who has a brand new Mercedes every other year, and a fancy villa in Portugal - she'll never be of the same class as DD2's godmother, who doesn't have a pot to piss in, but is the DD of a vicar, speaks very fluent French and has a MSc.

fledermaus Sun 13-Jul-14 21:47:18

I'd say all my friends are the same social class as me to be honest - retail workers, administrators, builders, TAs, nursing assistants etc.

socialclass Sun 13-Jul-14 21:36:16

weatherall, my situation has always been a bit mixed up too. I grew up in a solidly working class area but with an educated and previously wealthy family. My family had less actual money than most of my school friends. I experienced snobbery and inverted snobbery at the same time all through my childhood. Interested that you say you'd avoid contentious subjects just to have any friends. Does that feel as lonely as it sounds?

Interesting a couple of people have mentioned criminal activity. Is there a criminal class then? Do the families of criminals get shunned along with the actual criminals?

AskBasil Sun 13-Jul-14 21:12:31

Hmm. I'm not sure that it is tbh.

But that's the English class system. Fucking impenetrable. And unacknowledged. grin

RudyMentary Sun 13-Jul-14 21:05:20

Hair, scarves etc.
There is obviously a difference.

No-one would start a thread asking if your friends all wear scarves or have blonde hair.

I don't understand the class system. This thread us about wealth - I don't think that's what's meant by class

AskBasil Sun 13-Jul-14 20:57:10

There's a difference with what?

Noticing class? Race? Religion? Hair? What?

RudyMentary Sun 13-Jul-14 20:52:42

There's a difference imo

People seem to be talking more about income than class on this thread anyway

AliceDoesntLiveHereAnymore Sun 13-Jul-14 20:48:56

My friends are really all over the place - both in location as well as income level/background. I occasionally run across differences in opinions that seem to come directly from differing backgrounds, but for the most part we're all adult enough to realise that these things happen and it doesn't affect the friendship. (unless of course the difference is staggeringly huge - such as say criminal activity or things like that)

AskBasil Sun 13-Jul-14 20:37:40

Why is it not a good thing to do?

Do you think it's a bad thing to consciously notice that someone is blonde, or Asian, or tall, or has a penchant for flowy scarves, or wears glasses?

It's just something else about them you notice, why is it bad to notice things?

dancestomyowntune Sun 13-Jul-14 20:31:19

Most of my 'friends' are other mothers with children that have the same interests as mine (dancing and, in the case of ds 2, riding). As a general rule of thumb, most of them are financially better off than we are. But it's nit a thing that concerns or worries me.

LiberalLibertines Sun 13-Jul-14 20:20:13


RudyMentary Sun 13-Jul-14 19:41:54

I think if you're choosing whether to acknowledge/notice than you are acknowledging/noticing by default.

RudyMentary Sun 13-Jul-14 19:36:45

But why should I 'consciously' notice it?
That's not a good thing to do imo

AskBasil Sun 13-Jul-14 19:33:10


This is getting a bit weird.

Who is it up to what you notice, if not you?

All of us choose what we'll engage with, think about, acknowledge etc., don't we?

RudyMentary Sun 13-Jul-14 19:30:25

Surely it's not up to me whether I notice it or not though?

AskBasil Sun 13-Jul-14 19:17:09

It's up to you whether you want to notice it or not Rudy.

Whether you notice it or not, all those things have a major impact on how people live their lives.

RudyMentary Sun 13-Jul-14 19:06:32

Please explain further Basil as I don't understand I'm afraid.

Should I be noticing class, race etc?

AskBasil Sun 13-Jul-14 18:46:51

Well you don't need to notice it at all if you don't want to Maddy. No-one's forcing you to. smile

GarlicJulyKit Sun 13-Jul-14 18:45:53

Basil, did you mean like straight, white men don't 'see' those things? Yeah, I agree, for similar reasons to weatherall. Having experienced fluctuating 'class' myself, I notice it.

maddy68 Sun 13-Jul-14 18:40:15

askbasil People who don't see class are the same sort of people who don't "see" race, or sex, or sexuality - they aren't adversely affected by it, so they don't need to acknowledge it

I think that's the point, I am not adversely affected by class or race or sex or anything like that. Why would I be adversely affected by it. I don't see it as an issue at all?

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